The American Dream in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

3579 Words15 Pages
Compare the American Dream with the real lives of the migrant workers in the novel Of Mice and Men. For the Examiner: The page numbers in this essay are from the Longman edition of the novel “Of Mice and Men”. The ISBN number of this edition is ISBN0582461464. Please take account of this number when marking my paper. In the 1930’s American novelists were writing novels about the current life in America and past experiences. One of these novelists was John Ernst Steinbeck. Steinbeck was born on 27 February 1902, in Salinas, California, USA. His parents owned a large amount of land but were not very rich. Steinbeck’s mother was a schoolteacher and encouraged him to study and read widely. At primary school, Steinbeck did well. His aunt gave him a copy of Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, his first book that he owned. Steinbeck was academically more advanced than his classmates because of his mother’s beforehand influence; he skipped a year at 5th grade and was younger when he attended Salinas High School. At the age of 14 he chose the career as a writer and never abandoned his dream. Graduating from there in 1919, then attending Stanford University. At Stanford he studied Marine Biology, however he was more interested in the surrounding nature of the world and literature. Steinbeck would take long periods of time off to pay for his passion of writing. During a summer vacation he took a year and half off from his studies, where he worked as a labourer. This is where he got his first experience as a migrant worker. He went back to Stanford University and in 1925 he dropped out without a degree and went to New York. His parents wanted him to have a respectable job as a lawyer; but with no degree it was inevitable that he would fail. He grasped a job as a construction worker, but was laid off. He was able to get another job as a reporter for a short period, but was eventually dismissed. After that incident, to keep him going he had to leave New York in search of a better job. He went to California were ho worked at a lodge and resort in High Sierra. Steinbeck published “Cup of Gold” in 1929, and then he worked on a book called “To an Unknown God”. In 1930 Steinbeck married Carol Henning and the couple settled down. In the upcoming years he was able to write his first successful novel, Tortilla Flat. Steinbeck himself was a migrant worker at this time and from this he had an inspiration to write about the migrant workers of America and
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