The American Dream is a fundamental theme in John Steinbeck's novel
'Of Mice and Men'. I will endeavor to examine how the theme is
presented in the novel in order to determine why it is so important.
Whilst exploiting the theme it will be imperative to consider the
characters that hold this dream, I will focus on George and Lennie,
the two central characters. In addition I will acknowledge the social
and economic situation of the time, the Great Depression.
The American Dream is an ideal, a hope that has been central to
American culture since the formation of the country. When America was
colonized by England the main reason for people wanting to immigrate
there was land. And land is the key idea in the American Dream. To own
your own piece of land and be your own boss is a hope shared by almost
everyone, a hope that became especially important in America.
Obviously The Great Depression in America stole the dream from many
people, this is why the idea of owning your own land became so
important to the workers on the ranch, like George and Lennie, as it
was their only hope to escape all this.
Most ranch workers were unsatisfied; this was because of the poor
social and economic conditions and the severe poverty. Many workers
traveled alone without family or friends and were very lonely; the
only place to get company was at the local cathouses and this would
require wasting your hard earned money. Because of this
dissatisfaction many workers as well as George and Lennie had "The
American Dream" in their minds.
Racism was a problem in this period of time, it was considered normal
to call a black person nigger. In this novel crooks is the character
that represents racism, he is not allowed to sleep with the other men
and is referred to as nigger. In the story crooks explains to Lennie
and Candy that they are not the only one's after a piece of land and