Without having a dream in life there’s really no objective to work towards. One of the most common dreams in the modern era is The American Dream. It is written right into the Declaration of Independence, “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It was originally started as propaganda to try and get early twentieth century americans to start and maintain a successful economy. The idea behind it is that every American has the right and equal opportunity to live the American life like own a nice house, have some land, and maybe start and raise a family. But everyone has their own interpretation of the American dream.
In the book “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, it shows how that even with how simple the american dream is it’s still nearly impossible to fulfill it. Despite the harsh difficulty to achieve it, it was very important to everyone that they kept that dream alive. The American Dream provided them the drive and motivation to carry on through the great depression. George and lennie, The main characters of the book, two men who are traveling to look for work, also known as migrant workers. They had nothing but the two of them and the drive of the american dream. George and lennie had a dream, they wanted to own their own big piece of property and “live off the fatta the lan” They built their dream up to such a high level that even if they managed to reach their dream, it’d be nothing like George and Lennie envisioned. George even admitted to the fact that their dreams where set up to fail. “I think I knowed from the very first. I think I knowed we’d never do her. He usta like to hear about it so much I got to thinking maybe we would.” This was prominent in almost everyone’s life at the time.
I think that George and Lennie striving for the impossible is the author’s way of showing how unreachable the American dream was for almost all americans, especially since this is based within the worst period of the great depression. One hundred years ago it was as if anyone could come to america, work their hieny off and be able to see a decent gain. George and Lennie’s journey shows just how much things have changed. They worked and worked and never seemed to gain but it managed to always benefit others around them. Even though they were given a roof over their head and some minuit pay, not once did they ever own a place they could call their own. This shows that even when working to the fullest extent of their abilities that it never really helped anyone reach their financial success or the emotional side of things either.
For an example, before the death of Curley’s wife, she admitted to her dream of becoming a movie star, a different life. Candy clings to George’s idea of owning a few acres and Crooks, with as sour as he is, dreamt of working on a patch of Lennie’s farm one day. Most of these dreams have been subsided by the time that the story begins to pick up speed. Curley’s wife, as an example, has given herself to an unfulfilling marriage. What makes all these dreams so “American” are that they all just boil down to two key concepts, the pursuit of happiness and to have the freedom and option to chase their own desires. It’s something to hold onto in such a bad time.
By the end of the novella “Of Mice and Men,” George and Lennie’s dreams have changed and evolved in a multitude of ways. Even with the fact that Lennie was killed and did not make it to reach his dreams, he in a way met a certain version of his dreams. The most simple of Lennie’s dream is that he wanted to be safe from harm and people running after him and that he’d be stopped from ever hurting anyone again. When George killed Lennie, even if he had not realised it at the time, helped lennie fulfill his dream. “Ever’body gonna be nice to you, ain’t gonna be no more trouble. Nobody gonna hurt nobody or steal from em” Lennie is no longer wanted by the citizens of Weed for his false rape charges. With the death of Lennie, it saved him from the angry vengeful death that curley was going to dish out for him, because he accidentally killed curley’s wife.
With the alluring aspect of The American dream in mind, Steinbeck wrote “Of Mice and Men.” Throughout the whole book there was many examples of peoples dreams motivating them in life and giving them hope to hold on too. George just wanted to own some land and live with the freedom to do as he pleased. Lennie wanted to have safety and peace in life. Even Crooks had a dream, he wanted to live in a world where he wasn’t thought badly of anymore. All if not most of these dreams where altered in many ways through the book sometimes even forgot about like they never were a thing. I think that John Steinbeck did an amazing job with illustrating his way of thinking about the American dream. He showed that the American dream couldn’t ever be completed with the original thoughts and ideas that a person may have. It shows that you must adapt and sacrifice things at times to have a better outcome.