Essay on The American Dream According to John Steinbeck

968 Words May 14th, 2005 4 Pages
The American Dream

John Steinbeck, author of many classic American novels, greatly influenced modern American literature. Steinbeck often referred to the Salinas Valley of California in his writing. He often referred to the settlers and the adversities they had faced during the migration to the Salinas Valley area. With novels such as Of Mice And Men and The Grapes Of Wrath, Steinbeck explained the harsh reality of the severe hardships the settlers faced to accomplish the American Dream. These novels share many similarities in regard to their themes. To understand Steinbeck's work, we must first understand Steinbeck. John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California in 1902. His father was a treasurer for the county. Steinbeck's mother
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They crave the opportunity to work, land to call their own and being their own bosses by working off of that land. George and Lennie feel that they are different than other migrant workers because they have dreams and they rely on each other. George and Lennie find work on a farm "bucking barley." On this farm they meet the laborers as well as other characters of this novel including Candy (an older laborer), Crooks (the black stable hand), the boss, Curley (a short man who happens to be the bosses son), Curley's wife (a lonely woman easily excited by the attention of men), Carlson (a ranchhand) and Slim (the local authority figure). The characters in this novel all seem to want to transform their lives and are not able to do so. Curley's wife, a failed actress, is living day to day hoping that she will be able to fulfill her lifelong dream of acting. Slim, has nothing to show for a lifetime of laboring. He, just like George and Lennie, had hoped and dreamed for many years to own a piece of land to call his own. He has to live with the realization that he will probably die laboring just as he has done for so many years before. Crooks, on the other hand, has more of a sociological issue to deal with. He dealt with constant racial issues preventing him from accomplishing the American Dream. He has struggled to be treated as a human being because he has been oppressed by the white workers for so many years. The