Of Mice and Men - the American Dream

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Of Mice and Men – The American Dream

The American dream was and is an ideal held by many that everyone in America has an equal opportunity in pursuing the life they dream of. It is the idea that regardless of a person’s background, race, culture, or education that that person can still obtain life’s luxuries as long as you possess the right mindset and work ethic.

In the case of “Of Mice and Men” the characters George and Lennie dream of owning their own piece of land and reaping all of the benefits of self employment. George talks of how they will have a vegetable patch, rabbits and chickens and that on days when the weather is bad they wont even work the land. George tells the story half heartedly having told it many times before where as Lennie hangs on every word enchanted by the fantasy that he wholeheartedly believes will become true. If the ethos of the American dream is that you can make it regardless of who you are then it would seem that Steinbeck was looking to make Lennie a prime example of this. This is first realized when George and Lennie initially discuss working on the ranch they are headed to. George explains to Lennie that once there he is not to speak while George talks to the boss, worried that Lennie may say something that would jeopardize their chance of employment. However George also states “but if he sees ya work before he hears ya talk, were set” implying that despite Lennie’s shortcomings he still possesses the skills and drive to succeed in this work and earn the money required in order to pursue their dreams.

While Lennie often gets caught up in the fantasy, regularly referring to the rabbits that he hopes to tend to. George, at least initially seems more concerned with immediate goals often referring to how he and Lennie are “gonna roll up a stake” that the two of them are just there to work, save some money and
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