American Dream Theme Analysis

1429 Words6 Pages
Dreams are what a person hopes to achieve in their life. During the Great Depression, dreams and goals were important aspects of people’s lives. They gave life meaning, which gave people hope. Throughout the novel Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck portrays the theme of the American Dream. Using the characterization of George, Lennie, Candy, Crooks, and Curley’s Wife, Steinbeck conveys the predominant theme of the American Dream. By characterizing one of the two main characters, George, Steinbeck uncovers the American Dream theme. It is quite evident from the beginning of the novel that George’s ultimate dream is to live an easygoing life, not having to worry about Lennie getting in trouble. In just the first chapter, the reader gets a sense of what George truly wants. He loses his temper and yells at Lennie, but in order to keep him by his side, he convinces Lennie that he was just fooling, and he did not mean anything mean. George says that he wants Lennie to stay with him, which proves that his dream is with Lennie (Steinbeck 13). Later in the book, when talking to Slim, George speaks proudly and defensively of Lennie (Steinbeck 39). This proves that George really cares for Lennie, wants him in his life, and will protect him. George’s goal, to live an easygoing life on his own property, is reinforced when he, Lennie, and Candy discuss payment. The text states, “They fell into a silence. They looked at one another, amazed. This thing they had never really believed in was coming true. George said reverently, ‘Jesus Christ! I bet we could swing her.’ His eyes were full of wonder. ‘I bet we could swing her,’ he repeated softly” (Steinbeck 60). George is extremely overwhelmed and joyful that this dream he had been talking about may actually come true. He speaks gloriously and has eyes full of wonder. However, when Lennie died, George’s attitude faltered, and he seemed quiet and reserved. This is because he wanted Lennie in his dream, and without Lennie, his dream no longer existed. George’s dream that he aimed to accomplish throughout the entire novel was to live a carefree life, with his companion and best friend, Lennie. Steinbeck continues to unravel the theme of the American Dream by characterizing the
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