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The American Dream In Of Mice And Men And The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck

1210 words - 5 pages

The American Dream is something that many Americans, as well as people from all over the world, strive to accomplish. Although it has progressed over time, many people still want to grasp a hold of it. John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath represent the struggle of migrant workers and the unrealistic concept of the American dream. Steinbeck illustrates the impossibility of the American Dream in the 1930s through George and Lennie in Of Mice and Men, and through the Joads in The Grapes of Wrath. He ties in realistic struggles that many individuals suffered from during the Great Depression and the time following.
John Steinbeck’s books were about the social and ...view middle of the document...

..Themes). Ultimately, throughout his works, Steinbeck demonstrates that working hard will not help people achieve neither the financial success nor emotional fulfillment they desire.
John Steinbeck had goals when he was writing all of his novels. The goal of Of Mice and Men, as with the rest of them, was to heal the wounds between people by helping them to understand one another’s lives. “In every bit of honest writing in the world...there is a base theme. Try to understand men, if you understand each other, you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and nearly always leads to love,” (Steinbeck vii). That is what he noted in a 1938 journal entry. Those words shaped his long career, as well as his acceptance speech for the 1962 Nobel Prize. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in December 1962 for his “realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception,” (John Steinbeck- Biographical).
Steinbeck’s writing was anything but ordinary. He was not a man that wrote for shock value; in fact, he has been criticized for everything from his coarse language to his depiction of the mentally disabled to his seeming anti-business slant. However, the reaction to Of Mice and Men was only a sample of what was to come. A few years after the publication of Of Mice and Men, he published The Grapes of Wrath. This book was insanely successful and it won Steinbeck the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. “When I wrote The Grapes of Wrath, I was filled, naturally, with certain angers—certain angers at people who were doing injustices to other people, or so I thought. I realize now that everyone was caught in the same trap. If you remember, we had a Depression at that time. The Depression caught us without the ability to take care of it. It took a long time for us to develop the agencies to take care of such economic difficulties. When the dust came up, people were starving; they had no place to go. Naturally, they went in a direction where they would not suffer from cold: they went toward California. They came in the thousands to California. (“Whenever They’s a Fight”). Steinbeck wrote this book to provoke social change and he had accomplished just that. He published The Grapes of Wrath at the apex of the Depression, and as it might be expected, it is a book about dispossessed farmers that captured the decade’s angst, as well as the nation’s legacy of fierce individualism, visionary prosperity, and determined westward movement...

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