How Are Different Versions Of The American Dream Portrayed In Of Mice And Men And The Great Gatsby?

2145 words - 9 pages

The novel ‘Of Mice and Men’ was written by John Steinbeck, this novel was written in 1937 in America. The novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ was written by F.Scott Fitzgerald this novel was written in 1925 in America. Both of these novels revolve around the belief of the American Dream that people had during the period of America, that these novels were written in.
In the novel ‘Of Mice and Men’, the two central characters Lennie and George are itinerant workers who share an extraordinary friendship. They travel from town to town trying to accomplish their dream of having their own land by working hard, during the harsh depression time of 1930’s America. This was known as ‘The Great Depression’. ...view middle of the document...


In ‘Of Mice and Men’ life in America in the 1930s is illustrated as devastating and lonely especially after the event known as ‘The Wall Street Crash’ which was the stock market crash. This created ‘The Great Depression’. George states that in the first chapter, “Guys like us, which work on the ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. This shows that the lifestyle of itinerant workers was devastating and awfully lonely. This is made more evident because the other ranchmen’s couldn’t believe how George and Lennie managed to stick by each other. Slim said “I’ve never seen one guy take so much trouble for another guy.” This shows that George and Lennie weren’t affected by The Great Depression as they still managed to stay by each other and continued working towards their American Dream; of owning their own land.
In the novel ‘Of Mice and Men’, Lennie and George’s dream was to get land to live on, be self-employed and have control over their lives. This is shown in the sentence ‘We’d just live there, we belong there. There wouldn’t be no more running round the country and getting fed by a Jap cook, we’d have our own place where we belong and not sleep in no bunk house.’ This suggests just like others, they had their own goal to achieve and their own American Dream to fulfil. ‘We’d just belong there’ suggest that people like Lennie and George have nowhere that they belong; they have no house, no family and really small control over their own lives and in some cases no control over their own lives. Furthermore, the quote ‘We’ll have a vegetable patch and a rabbit hutch and chickens’ shows that their dream is relatively straightforward. This tells the readers that a small dream couldn’t be fulfilled at the time. Their dream is extremely imperative to them because this is the link that bonded them together, which had differentiated them from the other ranch workers.
More importantly, ‘Of Mice and Men’ is written during the time of The Great Depression, implying that their dream represents an ideal of prosperity in a future where America has emerged from. The Great Depression was the severe worldwide economic depression which occurred during the late 1930s, when the novel 'Of Mice and Men' was written. Steinbeck has described their dream several times, and the fact that Lennie‘s constantly reminds George about their dream may also suggest that their dream is imperative to them.

In ‘Of Mice and Men’, the American Dream is presented as flawed and unachievable. This is because George and Lennie’s dream of owning a home is never achieved. Candy joins in on George’s and Lennie’s dream of owning a piece of land, Candy’s money made the dream actually possible to achieve but he realises by the end of the novel that his dream will not come true. However, Crooks dream is that everyone is equal because he is called “nigger” instead of his name. Additionally Smitty says ‘he would kill the nigger’. This quote indicates that people had anger and hatred...

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