Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

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Many tell us to keep dreaming. To chase our dreams until they come true, and that the unattainable can always be achieved with enough pursuance. Is this saying really true? In the novella Of Mice and Men, the story follows the life of two immigrants, George and Lennie. Lennie a gigantic man with a mental infirmity travels with a man named George, they dream of owning a farm, and living off of the land and thus only working for themselves. With Lennie’s disability, he repeatedly gets into trouble. As result, both Lennie and George flee from their old town, Weed, to find new jobs in the hopes to collect enough money to buy a piece of land. They find employment as barley buckers on a ranch and meet the other workers, Candy, and old swamper who’s hand is missing, Crooks, a black man with a bad back, and the only woman on the ranch, who is Curley, the boss’s son’s wife. Not long after does Lennie get into trouble once again. He breaks the neck Curley’s wife and runs to the stream where George told him to go if he were to get in any trouble. George then shoots Lennie in the back of his head to end him of his misery. They could not live by constantly running. Throughout the novel, a motif of unachievable American dreams is presented. American dreams are always a thirst, and although they are highly sought out, several unfortunately never make it to reality.

The American dream is initially yearned for by Lennie and George, the protagonists. As Lennie shouts at the very beginning of the novel, “An’ live off the fatta the lan’” (14), the infatuation of successfully being able to purchase a piece of land and live out the American dream is showcased. Originally, the desire to live off the land was merely a want, but once Ca...

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...ooks never get the opportunity to extricate himself from his situation as Curley’s wife and George’s remarks remind Crooks of how he will still be categorized no matter where he goes. As every “God damn one of ‘em never gets it. Just like heaven…Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land. It’s just in their head. They’re all the time talkin’ about it, but it’s jus’ in their head" (74). Crooks harsh words depict the blunt reality of the American dreams, “It’s just in their head” (74).

The American dream is undeniably longed for by all, who would refuse to live the life of their dreams? Dreaming is simple; achieving those very dreams is another story. However, even when there is faith for the dream, it always ceases to exist because of reality’s spiteful ways. Crooks may be unfortunately correct, the American dream only lives inside of your head.

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