Sunday, September 18, 2011
Of Mice and Men: The American Dream
Of Mice and Men
About the Author: (goodreads)
The tragic story of the complex bond between two migrant laborers in Central California. They are George Milton and Lennie Small, itinerant ranch hands who dream of one day owning a small farm. George acts as a father figure to Lennie, who is a very large, simple-minded man, calming him and helping to reign in his immense physical strength.
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The American Dream is defined in many ways. Based on some research and this story, the definition that most relates to Of Mice and Men's American Dream is being able to have and create the ideal life with nothing or little to start with. John Steinbeck, the author of Of Mice And Men, does not believe that the American Dream is attainable. If he did, then he would have had less obstacles for his characters to overcome, and at least one of them would have attained the American Dream. Instead all of them did not reach it and some even died, like Curley's wife and Lennie.
George and Lennie had their own American Dream that Candy and Crook also eventually dreamt. The place they are looking to buy is 10 acres with a windmill. "Got a little shack on it, an' a chicken run. Got a kitchen, orchard, cherries, apples, peaches, 'cots, nuts, got a few berries. They's a place for alfalfa and plenty water to flood it." (57) They also want to build a place for rabbits, and a smokehouse to cook the bacon, ham, and sausages they would get from the pigs. They would can the fruit and tomatoes when they came in, and have thick cow or goat cream. They want a place where they can live and belong, without having to run anywhere or get into any trouble. But, like all great rewards, there were some challenges that came first.
There are many challenges toward the American Dream in Of Mice And Men. Even today there are some challenges. Most of the characters in Of Mice and Men have one or more disadvantages. For example, Lennie has the mind of child, even though he is a giant adult. George's main disadvantage is that he must take care of Lennie. There are plenty more as well, like how Crook is black and crippled, or how Candy is old and missing a hand. All of these prevent them from achieving their American Dream. Nowadays, people also have challenges, like not being able to afford something. Cancer and other sicknesses are also problems that happen that could stop you from getting the American Dream.
Even if it was easy to achieve, there would just a be a more higher dream, which would not be attainable. The American Dream keeps you going and pushing yourself. If everyone or anyone could reach it, we wouldn't work as hard, unless there was a new American Dream, which there very well could be. But it would be set higher and be just as impossible as the American Dream now. Some people even question that there is an American Dream.
~Written by Tasha Nicole Haight, 2010.