Steinbeck incorporates the theme of the American Dream, an expression used to represent wanted success, throughout his story Of Mice and Men as he provides glimpses of the dreams of many characters. Towards the end of the novel, the fact is that each of the characters “American Dream” is just that, a dream, which is unattainable. In short, Steinbeck portrays his position of the unrealistic desires for untarnished happiness through the dreams of Candy, Curley’s Wife, and Crooks in Of Mice and Men.
First, Candy has the dream of getting him a piece of George and Lennie’s land on their farm. This small piece of land means much to Candy, as shown in chapter 3, Candy is talking to George and says, “…you’ll let me hoe in the garden even after I ain’t no good at it. An’ I’ll wash dishes an’ little chicken stuff like that…I’ll be let to work on our own place” (p. 60). From this, it is suggested that all Candy wants is a small piece of land where he can go when he is considered old and worthless by others. It is his ticket for feeling useful, and not living off streets once he cannot perform his job as a swamper. Although the plan seemed superb, it was ultimately flawed. Candy could have probably made the rest of the money as he promised, but because Lennie killed Curley’s wife in chapter 5, they could never go through with the impractical plan. The decision of ...
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...ny” (p. 81). This racial hatred reminded Crooks that anywhere he went; all would judge him based on the color of his skin. In brief, Crooks’ circumstance of being born an African American stops him from thinking that his dream of owning land would ever come true.
In conclusion, Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is a novel where all “American Dreams” are shattered. This in turn displays Steinbeck’s thought of how unachievable the “American Dream” actually is. The unrealistic nature of “American Dreams” is further supported by the fate of the 3 characters, Candy, Curley’s wife, and Crooks. All in all, the fact that circumstances, regretful actions, and unethical ideas of humanity as a whole, all provide in the impracticality of the American Dream, the dream for dreamers.
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