The American Dream In Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

4651 words - 19 pages

The American Dream in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men is a story set during the 1930's America, this was a
time when the great depression had hit the world. This novel was
written by John Steinbeck who had based most of his work in the story
location. The main aspect of this story evolves around the American
dream, and how it is perceived by the characters. The American dream
is an expression for everything great in life; it is based on a dream
that has a future with happiness. The term American Dream shows the
positive parts of America, it meant hope; happiness and security were
truly possible.

During colonial time there were two main parts of America, the east
and west that was inhabited. The west coat was colonised by the
Spanish during the early 17th century giving birth to a vast labour
market around the Californian area. However the east coast was settled
by the English during the 17th century, this caused a major impact on
migration from Europeto the Americas, and this left the whole centre
of America completely free. In 1850 the government offered free land
to the settlers and this gave birth to the American dream that was
inside the minds of every American at the time. From the 17th Century,
when the first settlers arrived, immigrants dreamed of a better life
in America. People went there to escape from persecution or poverty,
and to make a new life for themselves or their families. They dreamed
of making their fortunes in the goldfields. For many the dream became
a nightmare. The horrors of slavery, of the American Civil War, the
growth of towns with slums as bad as those in Europe, and the
corruption of the American political system led to many shattered
hopes. For the American society as a whole the dream ended with the
Wall Street crash of 1929. This was the start of the Great Depression
that would affect the whole world during the 1930s. However the dream
survived for individuals. Thousands made their way west to California
to escape from their farmlands in the mid-West. George and Lennie
dreamt of their 'little house and a couple of acres'. The growing
popularity of cinema was the last American Dream for many.

Eventually the poor farmers could not maintain their land so they
moved westwards towards California. These people were known as migrant
workers as they were constantly migrating around the country to follow
the harvest. These people lived in fear and poverty in which they had
no family or friends to trust. Of Mice and Men is a story of how two
migrant workers lives are inspired by hope. In this essay I will
compare the American dream to the reality in which the migrant workers
are subjected to. In this story there are many aspects that we have to
take into consideration which includes the many themes portrayed by
Steinbeck and the reality...

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