The American Dream
The American Dream John Steinbeck is an accomplished writer who captures the plight of people in Salinas's valley who are at the bottom of America's society in the 1930's. In his great book, Of Mice and Men, he depicts two disadvantaged friends who are striving for their own dreams (Associated Press, Online). This American dream they wish to fulfill is one of the many themes in this tragic tale of two best friends. John Steinbeck's themes are realistic, and make Of Mice and Men an American literature masterpiece (Grolier15-16). Steinbeck decided to write this story after reading "To a Mouse", by Robert Burns. Steinbeck finds one of his main themes from Burns' poem: But mouse, you are not alone, in proving foresight may be vain: the best laid scheme of mice and men go often askew, and leaves us nothing but grief and pain, for promised joy! (World Burns Club, Online). Of Mice and Men is a story depicting George and Lennie's life journey. George is a regular man who looks after the delicate partially retarded giant Lennie. Both are trying to make it in the harsh work world, and to ultimately fulfill the dream of owning their own farm. This is hard to come by because Lennie keeps getting in trouble and they both
They long for their own little farm that they would tend everyday. Similar to Burns' poem, Steinbeck's novel reveals that we are no more than a mouse whose dreams can become a skewed. Just like the other ranchers, George does not want to go on with life alone, making it even harder for him to kill Lennie (Sauder, Online). He gave the low ranking people a voice in this novel; they are just like any other being who are striving for a dream. Forever, people will continue having dreams that they wish to fulfill like George and Lennie. The story's theme sets the major conflict for the characters. Steinbeck uses this to foreshadow what would become of Lennie. Curley provokes Lennie to fight, but he exclaims, "I don't want no sic trouble. Not only does he kill his best friend, but he also kills their dream. Lennie, who does not know his own strength, accidentally kills Curley's wife. Most of the workers are independent and are extremely lonely like the segregated Black man named Crooks. Even though George gets very short with Lennie because of his slowness, he never leaves his side. With a dream also comes the fear of our dreams becoming deferred "does it dry up like a raisin Or fester like a sore and then run" (Hansberry 828). They end up in Salinas Valley working on a ranch.
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