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The American Interpretation Essay

1119 words - 5 pages

The American Interpretation
The American dream is a concept that has arisen in our land through years of hard work and struggle. It has been taken advantage of, fought for tooth and nail, and slipped through the fingers of thousands of immigrants and naturalized Americans alike, and is lusted after by millions all over the world. To some, it means money and a shiny glittering lifestyle. To others, it means the idea of self-creation. And still to others, the American dream could be represented by the land itself. However, as in a child’s game of telephone, this idea is warped and changed as it is passed on; often taking on whole new forms altogether.
In the novel Of Mice and Men by John ...view middle of the document...

In Half Broke Horses, nobody better represents this vision more than Boots and Gaiters. When these two men step foot on the ranch, one of the first things they say to Jim is “funny, you don't look like a cowboy” (walls 215). They go on to further examine the property, observing that the ranch did not look like a ranch either. Instead of the old wood that made up the buildings on the ranch, they envisioned knotty pine, which would later become a symbol for the glorified American dream. This idea is underlined in the form of Jim’s complaints about a new cowboy movie that Lilly wanted to see. He was “completely disgusted by what he considered the phony depiction of cowboy life” (walls 183). This depiction is what Boots and Gaiters lived by, and when they bought the ranch, they fired all the ranch hands because they didn’t match that image. They are perfect examples of the glorified dream, because to them, everything is glammed up and perfect. The cowboys are frilly and wear glittering studded belts, the houses are made out of knotty pine, and at the end of the day there is always a cold glass and a warm bed waiting for them. This is definitely not the case with most Americans, but this is their reality of the American dream.
Then, there are those that take the dream to mean money. This may be the most well-known interpretation, as money is a driving force in the lives of almost everybody. It is money that buys us our food, clothing, and shelter, and is regarded as one of, if not the most important aspect of society. In Jesse Jackson’s “Leave No American Behind” speech, he questions, “will we take the steps we know can work to make all Americans full partners in the American dream?” and then goes on to say “Let us close the gap between Wall Street and the rest of us” (Jackson). This in and of itself shows how much weight we place on money as it relates to the American dream. In Of Mice and Men, it is sought after even more, and is made apparent in George’s rant to Lennie when he states that “when the end of the month come I could take my fifty bucks and go into town and get whatever I...

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