The American Dream in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

723 Words3 Pages
The American Dream: a good life for all those who are nice and courteous, enough money to live and freedom. In the book Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck recounts the dream of George and Lennie: to have something that is theirs and to be relatively self-reliant. Steinbeck wrote this book to show the troubles of the working poor to those who have enough money to buy the book. He invented two typical characters, yet they are not quite invented, for this was the typical person at the time: in that time, an ambitious young man with a big dream is not hard to find. For George and Lennie, unfortunately, this dream never works out. After all, it was mostly a lullaby George created to calm Lennie, to give him something to hang on to, to give him hope. George uses this “lullaby” to get Lennie to work hard, to behave, and to stay out of trouble. Through out the novel, we gradually learn that for these unlucky two, achieving their dreams will be impossible and why. Steinbeck says that Lennie is mentally challenged, huge, and, as Curley’s wife puts it, “just like a big baby” (90). George is smarter, smaller, and has taken care of Lennie ever since his Aunt Clara died. The two travel together, lean on each other and love each other like brothers. They are also both looking for the same thing: the American Dream. They want a house to themselves, a bit of land, and rabbits. But they are in the wrong era to go searching for their dream: millions of others have the same ambitions and few are actually accomplishing those dreams. George seems to know that, yet he has grown so accustomed to recounting the story to Lennie that it appears he has begun to believe in it too. But he continues fighting, wanting the dream to come true and repeats ... ... middle of paper ... ...e and says, ‘Jump in.’ An’ he jumps. Couldn’t swim a stroke. He damn near drowns before we could get him. An’ he was so damn nice to me for pullin’ him out. Clean forgot I told him to jump in. Well I ain’t done nothing like that no more.” (40). The two lean on and need each other, like friends, like brothers. Even though never attainable, the dream kept George and Lennie alive. Deep down, George knew it would be impossible to live the dream: "I think I knowed from the very first. I think I knowed we'd never do her," (94). He knows he will never get the farm, but just thinking about it transports both him and Lennie to their happy place and makes them forget about all the hardship they’re facing. It gives them hope, which urges them forward and convinces them to live, no matter the conditions. And that was all the dream could ever be, and ever ended up being.
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