Essay about John Steinbeck Common Themes

3280 Words May 27th, 2011 14 Pages
Born in 1902 in Salinas, California, Nobel Prize winner, John Steinbeck, was one of the most important writers in America during the 20th century. In his novels, East of Eden, Of Mice and Men, Cannery Row, and In Dubious Battle, Steinbeck explores what it takes for a person to find true happiness in life. Steinbeck addresses the pursuit for happiness in one’s life—the American Dream—, by questioning modern idea of it being achieved through material items and the path people take to accomplish it. Steinbeck also addresses the happiness people find in relationships and how connecting to someone can affect a person’s decisions in life. To communicate his ideas with the reader, Steinbeck creates the storyline of his novels, connecting his …show more content…
Charles provides a perfect example of the importance a relationship has, and how not having one can bring out the darkest part of one’s personality.
Whereas he used East of Eden to focus on the American Dream of one’s desire to make a better life for his or her children, Steinbeck uses Of mice and Men to focus on the unachievable aspect of the American Dream. In the novella, George and Lennie convey this theme through their reassurance that they will not have to tend to someone else’s ranch and will soon have there own: “’O.K. Someday—we’re gonna get the jack together and we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an’ a cow and some pigs and—‘ ‘An’ live off the fatta the lan’,’” (Of Mice and Men, p. 13). Throughout the novella George repeats this line more often and it even acts as one of the few things Lennie remembers. It appears the more times they reassure themselves of this dream, the more it shifts from reality to fantasy. This dream also catches the imagination of other characters in the novel, one being Crooks. Crooks, who naturally does not believe in the luxury of dreaming, becomes transformed by Lennie’s thinking: “’…If you…guys would want a hand to work for nothing—just his keep, why I’d come an’ lend a hand’” (Of Mice and Men, p. 73). This quotation suggests every American succumbs to the idea of the American dream. This quotation also
Open Document