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American Dream And How It Is Presented

596 words - 3 pages

As Crooks says when he hears of Lennie’s dream to own his own farm, “Nobody ever gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land.”
George and Lennie’s dream of owning a farm, which would enable them to sustain themselves, and, most important, offer them protection from an inhospitable world, represents a typically American ideal.
The Futility of the American Dream (*In the context of the novel!!):
Their journey, which awakens George to the impossibility of this dream, sadly proves that the bitter Crooks is right: such paradises of freedom, contentment, and safety are not to be found in this* world.
George and LEnnies dream:
The farm that George constantly describes to Lennie—those few acres of land on which they will grow their own food and tend their own livestock—is one of the most powerful ...view middle of the document...

They build their dream up to such an extent that even if they managed to "roll up a stake" and buy a piece of land, their lives there would likely have never lived up to the ideal they envisioned in their heads (47). In fact, George admits that their dream was destined to fail: "I think I knowed from the very first. I think I knowed we'd never do her" (90). He remarks, because Lennie "[...] usta like to hear about it so much I got to thinking maybe we would" (90). Their very act of striving for the impossible is Steinbeck's way of showing how unattainable the American Dream had become for many Americans, especially during the time period of the Great Depression. While a century prior it seemed anyone could come to America, work hard, and see a tangible gain, the story of Lennie and George shows how things changed. They worked hard, but everything that they did always benefited others. While they received pay and lodging for their labor, they never had a place to call their own. Steinbeck ultimately demonstrates that working hard will not help people achieve either the financial success or emotional fulfillment they desire. Characters like Candy and Crooks, who have seemingly worked hard their entire lives, have gotten nowhere and are forced to be content with simply having a roof over their heads and three meals a day—though those privileges may be revoked at any time once the men are no longer deemed useful as is indicated by the "mercy" killing of Candy's old and crippled dog. This criticism of the failing American dream, which he often blames on the rise of industry and the spread of capitalism and a corresponding moral decline, appears in several of Steinbeck's works such as In Dubious Battle, The Grapes of Wrath, The Winter of our Discontent, Travels with Charley in Search of America, and Ame

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