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

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Of Mice and Men is a powerful depiction of life in rural California during the Great Depression. It captures the essence of the time through the experiences of the itinerant worker and their impermanent, isolated experiences (McNeill). John Steinbeck worked with the migrant workers during his teen years; he noted their dismal, disheartening existences revealed an unrelenting cynicism that stemmed from a dearth of realistic hopes and genuine prospects (McArthur). Steinbeck demonstrates the significance of dreams in Of Mice and Men as the essential foundation of motivation and purpose; the plans of hopeful conviction despite misery and destitution clarify the fundamental difference between man and beast (Lisca). Of Mice and Men is a reflection of the era indicating the most modest dreams were beset with limitations and obstacles for the working class; for indigent, the elderly, and the handicapped, the American Dream was an idealistic effort in futility (Tomkins).

John Steinbeck was an American writer born in Salinas, California, not far from the story’s setting. His father operated a flour mill and served as county treasurer; his mother was a schoolteacher (Bloom). Their family was devoted to education; reading and books were essential to family life. Steinbeck was drawn to literature as a child; he pursued his aspiration to become a writer with singular devotion. It became the goal that would establish the course of his life. His early material was often rejected; he pursued his vocation with indefatigable tenacity (Swisher).

Steinbeck’s technique was candid and straightforward; the third-person point-of-view produces a sense of impartiality. The story is an earthy, human interpretation of life; it does not omit the stark real...

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