Of Mice and Men and American Dream

863 Words Dec 25th, 2012 4 Pages
Hopes and dreams are important in ‘Of Mice and Men.’ Not is it important to the characters of the story itself, it is the theme of the novel. In this essay I will talk about the hopes and dreams of the main ensemble and also about the context of the novel, the American Dream and the Great Depression on the 1930’s. I will also talk about the poem Steinbeck based the book’s title off and how important it is to the book’s overall theme.

The dream of attaining land and – ultimately – happiness is one which motivates nearly every character. George often speaks to Lennie of a farm where the two of them can live in peace “an’ live off the fatta the lan’.” In these instances, at the novel’s opening and its ending, George is the accomplished
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He is at ease with his situation, and by comparing the contrast of his state with the other characters, one can only assume that the others have their dreams because of their reluctance to accept that the world is a harsh place. Only the innocent can take comfort from dreams and with his childlike characteristics, Lennie represented innocence itself. His innocence influences the other characters, George most obviously. “(Lennie) usta like to hear about (getting the farm) so much,” reveals George near the end of the novel, “I got to thinking maybe we would.” That is why hope is so important to the ‘Of Mice and Men’ characters.

‘Of Mice and Men’ is reflective of the time it was written, during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Many Americans naively assumed that California was a place where one could start anew and own land. This dream for land and for untarnished happiness was called the American Dream. The reality was that many Californians were unemployed and struggling to even have bread on the table. Born in Salinas, California, in 1902, Steinbeck must have witnessed for himself the hopelessness of the American Dream. He wrote that Lennie’s “earthly longings … was not to represent insanity at all but the inarticulate and powerful yearning of all men.” In saying that, he suggested that the dreams and hopes of the American people were pertinent to the novel.

The title of the book itself implies how important dreams are
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