Free «The American Dream According to of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck» Essay

The American Dream According to of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

In his novel Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck tries to explain the death of the American dream. American dream is a term that has been used severally, and its initial meaning was that everyone in the United States can succeed if they embrace hard work. The American dream was also interpreted in the sense that each citizen has the potential to live successful and happy life. Most of the dreams focused on establishing businesses, owning land and religious freedom. In short, the American dream constitutes life, liberty as well as pursuit of happiness as indicated in the declaration of independence.

The novel was written during the period of the Great Depression in the United States. At that time, there were many hardships such as unemployment and homelessness among many citizens. In the novel, there are two main characters, Lennie and George, who are immigrants and looking for a job position. The two were displaced Anglo-itinerant workers in California. Dream is a thematic apperception people indulge in to momentarily escape from real life. The characters in the novel seem to be craving. Lennie and George imagine working on their own farms occupying head position. At one point (page 16), George says that they will get the jack together and have a little house and some acres where they will keep cows and some pigs. Although their dream was unrealizable, Of Mice and Men in its entirety suggests that for life to be meaningful and full, there must be dreams.

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Curley’s wife, on the other hand, had confessed that she wanted to become a movie star before her death. She had resigned from an unfulfilling marriage to pursue happiness. This was in accordance with the American dream.

In conclusion, the failing American dream is blamed on the spread of capitalism, rise of industries, as well as corresponding moral decline in society. What makes the dreams of the characters in this novel typically American is that the dreamers wished for freedom to follow own desires and untarnished happiness. 

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