The Reality Of The American Dream

1182 words - 5 pages

A writer, George Monbiot, once said, “If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire”. John Steinbeck’s views on the American Dream in his novella Of Mice and Men agrees with Monbiot because Steinbeck expresses the American Dream as obtainable, but not for everyone. In his novella, the characters George Milton and Lennie Small acquire a job at a ranch in the Salinas Valley during the Great Depression. These men have their own American Dream that they work towards, yet don’t achieve. Through these characters, Curley’s wife, and Crooks, Steinbeck illustrates that even through hard work and the drive to succeed, people may not ...view middle of the document...

They are all he thinks about, even until his last breath, since this quote was said before his death. This commitment would have gotten Lennie and George a little place. Sometimes though it isn’t meant to be, even if they had worked harder.
Steinbeck also demonstrates the same thing through Curley’s wife. She has dreamed of becoming an actress and imagines what her life could have been if she hadn’t married Curley. Curley’s wife had a dream to become an actress, when a traveling show had come through Salinas. Curley’s wife tells Lennie, “‘Well a show come through an’ I met one of the actors. He says I could go with that show. But my ol’ lady wouldn’ let me.’”(88). When she talks to Lennie, it shows her passion to be an actress, but instead she was held back by her mother. Curley’s wife marries Curley because she wants to become successful. Instead, it also holds her back from being victorious. Yet, Curley’s wife still dreams, she dreams of what could have been. She proclaims her thoughts to Lennie and says, “‘Coulda been in the movies, an’ had nice clothes ---- all them nice clothes they wear.’”(84). Curleys wife continues to dream about her future expressed through this quote. She thinks she could have been a star, but now she can’t be free because of her marriage with Curley. Steinbeck uses her own name, “Curley’s wife,” as a way to symbolize how she is tied down to Curley. Curley’s wife has yet to fulfill her dreams because sometimes relationships and the people around her hold her back.
Lastly, Steinbeck uses Crooks as support for his idea of the American Dream. Through Crooks’ work at the ranch, his limitations keep him from achieving a better future. Crooks’ limitations plays a part in his success and are major setbacks. Limitations such as his injured back and race keep him from attaining his goals. Steinbeck reveals Crooks’ back problem when he states, “In one hand he held a bottle of liniment, and with the other he rubbed his spine. Now and then he poured a few drops of the liniment into his pink-palmed hand and reached up under his shirt to rub again. He flexed his muscles against back and shivered.”(67) Liniment is an ointment or balm that is rubbed on the skin to relieve pain. When Crooks...

Find Another Essay On The Reality of the American Dream

The Reality of the American Dream: The Poem Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson

1286 words - 5 pages As Americans, many of us believe in this principle of the American Dream. The American Dream, in its simplicity, is the notion that anything, especially career wise, is achievable. We usually associate this concept with obtaining material things, such as cars or a fancy house. But, even if you achieve your American Dream, complete with a car and fancy house, does that really mean you achieved happiness? The poem “Richard Cory” by Edwin

"The Great Gatsby" By: F. Scott Fitzgerald The tragic result of the American Dream in it's false reality

746 words - 3 pages The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Has a central theme, the American Dream and it's tragic result of those who attempt to capture its false reality. For Jay Gatsby, the dream becomes real through wealth and power, and he maintains that all this glory will result in happiness. To get this bliss Jay chooses to use the drive of love to justify the illegal ways of reaching "the American Dream". Many of the 19th century

The American Dream Portrayed in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck vs the Reality of a Migrant Worker

2658 words - 11 pages A Comparison of the American Dream Portrayed in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and the Reality of a Migrant Worker Of Mice and Men is a novel written by John Steinbeck in 1937, this novel concentrates on the lives of migrant workers. Steinbeck's purpose is to show the reality of achieving the American Dream- as the title suggests. 'To a Mouse… The best laid schemes o' Mice and Men, Gang aft agley,' is the source of the

Equality in The Workplace: Dream or Reality?

1490 words - 6 pages their family. Women continue to dream of a life filled with economic and politically equality. If they continue to work for this dream, it can become a reality. They can break through the stereotypical glass ceiling, “a term coined by The Wall Street Journal in the mid-1980s to describe an invisible barrier that keeps female executives from being promoted to the top ranks or corporate management” (Lee and Wagner). The glass ceiling can have

Reality of a dream (roughing i

1325 words - 5 pages about the miners in Nevada and California. All of the miners were looking for the quick dollar but, most found themselves deeper in the hole. Twain's Roughing It as well as Vardis Fisher and Opal Holmes's Gold Rushes and Mining Camps Of The Early American West both show how miner's in the west were searching for the dream of making it rich and instead finding the harsh reality of chance.To start the section on mining Twain writes of how he first

Magical Realism: A Fusion of Dream and Reality

671 words - 3 pages Magical Realism: A Fusion of Dream and Reality Franz Roh originally coined the term magical realism as pertaining to art, magical realism also evolved as a form of literary writing that began in the Latin and Central American countries. Magical realism is an amalgamation of the real and unreal, a fusion of dream and reality, and confusion within clarity. Magical realism became known for changing the way in which one thinks. Instead of

Moon of Two Dark Hoarses (Coshmoos Dream and Reality)

617 words - 2 pages get more supplies. Coshmoo wasn’t the only person struggling during the war. Coshmoo couldn’t see his best friend Daniel, who was a white settler, because of Daniel’s uncle. The war made Daniel’s uncle hateful toward Indians and mean to Daniel. Daniel’s dad died too. Coshmoo’s dream altered after he finally decided to join the war for supplies and after finding Daniel spying. Coshmoo wished his dad to be alive and his tribe’s old land back

A Midsummer Nights Dream Shakespeare’s treatment of illusion and reality

1657 words - 7 pages A Midsummer Nights Dream Shakespeare’s treatment of illusion and reality in the play A Midsummer Nights Dream is a comedy written by William Shakespeare, it is a play about lovers and includes madness, mayhem, magic and illusion. The title tells us of the inevitable confusion to come, as in Elizabethan times ‘A Midsummer Night’ was a festival linked with mayhem and chaos, and the fact it is a ‘dream’ conjures up ideas of illusion and

Disillusionment of the American Dream

973 words - 4 pages is based upon immorality and lies.Including immoral romances, false hope is another disillusion to the American dream. Gatsby has false hope for the future because his dreams are unachievable. He wants to live an almost magical life and he physically can't. "It is the attempt itself and the firm belief that he can achieve the impossible that makes Gatsby more than the sum of his reality." (Janet Giltrow "Style as Politics in The Great Gatsby"). He

Disillusionment of the American Dream

973 words - 4 pages is based upon immorality and lies.Including immoral romances, false hope is another disillusion to the American dream. Gatsby has false hope for the future because his dreams are unachievable. He wants to live an almost magical life and he physically can't. "It is the attempt itself and the firm belief that he can achieve the impossible that makes Gatsby more than the sum of his reality." (Janet Giltrow "Style as Politics in The Great Gatsby"). He

Obstacles of the American Dream

1612 words - 6 pages “The American Dream, that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement.” --James Truslow Adams. The phrase “The American Dream” has been expanded upon or refined in various forms, but is essentially based on Truslow Adams’ idea. This concept has been subject to criticism because some people believe that the structure of society prevents

Similar Essays

The Reality Of The American Dream

1920 words - 8 pages hard work does not always result in success, there are many other factors that contribute to those that are highly successful. Every American wants to live out the american dream of equality, liberty,hard work equals success but in reality is it very rarely obtained. These ideals from both the romantic and the realistic side of the american dream are strongly expressed in books such as Great Gatsby, The Outliers and The Invisible Man. When every

The Reality Of The American Dream Essay

1689 words - 7 pages English 103 The American dream has long been established as the ideal that anyone who lives in the United States has an equal opportunity of achieving success through hard work and determination. Over time, both the meaning and the path to reach the American dream have evolved. During the 1950s, mass production was taking place and jobs that required little to no education were available on every street corner. At this time, consumeristic

An American Tragedy By Theordore Dreiser: Reality And Fiction Cause The Demise Of The American Dream

2808 words - 11 pages statement so unlike all the previous rebellious moods that had characterized him that even now he was not a little impressed by the difference..." (Dreiser 850).Theodore Dreiser's novel, An American Tragedy, contains the elements of reality and fiction. It is through the combination of these elements that the reader sees the downfall of the American Dream. Dreiser incorporated details from his life and large portions of the Chester Gillette and Grace

The False Reality Of The American Dream In The Great Gatsby

1352 words - 5 pages Graham Whittaker / Brandon Joice Mrs. Turnbull ENG3U1-3 Wednesday, April 09. 2014 The False Reality of the American Dream in the Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a novel that has a large focus on the ideas of the American Dream and social class in the 1920s. In the novel, the people of West Egg and East Egg are people of the upper who have earned money either through inheritance or working hard and have had many