The Importance of Dreams in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men Essay

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The Importance of Dreams in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men


'Of Mice and Men' was written in early 1936 by John Steinbeck. The New
York Wall Street stock market crash in 1929 led to high economic
depression and unemployment throughout America. Steinbeck's book
describes the life of two migrant workers, Lennie and George, and
their struggle to find work in California during the depression. To
escape the severity of the era many migrant workers concentrated on
and dwelt in the 'American Dream', the vision of owning their own
piece of land, working for themselves, not having to sell their
labour, and existing on the 'fat of the land.' Dreams, similar to
literature, are a way of escaping the harsh
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We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that
gives a damn about us…. An' why? Because I got you to look after me,
and you got me to look after you, and that's why.'

Migrant workers normally go round the country looking for work by
themselves because it is so hard finding work at this time for one
person let alone more. George and Lennie however go round together due
to a huge bond between them. Lennie needs George due to his simple
mind and his tendency to not recall and George needs Lennie for
companionship. When retelling their dream it is George who describes
'how it's gonna be' but Lennie often remembers bits of it though he
has a poor memory which shows how many times George tells it and how
important it is to Lennie.

Candy is a one-handed man who is quite elderly. He is kept in
employment at the ranch in cleaning out the bunk houses but he is
scared that he will be kicked out and have nowhere to go soon. Candy
had a dog that was 'no good to himself or anyone else' and so Carlson,
another man employed at the ranch, persuaded Candy to let him shoot
the dog in the back of the head. When George and Lennie escape to
their dream once more, Candy overhears them and is enticed by the
idea. He persuades the two men to let him join in their dream and live
with them in the house. Candy has three hundred and fifty dollars out
of the six hundred dollars needed and…