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The American Dream Essay

649 words - 3 pages

For centuries philosophers have debated the question if the "American Dream" really is attainable. John Steinbeck brings this issue front and center in his novel Of Mice and Men. Set in the 1930's George and Lennie, two migrant workers, travel to a California farm hoping to work and save enough to buy a place of their own. With Lennie's "uniqueness", it is hard for George and Lennie to stay in one place for long without getting into some kind of trouble. George hopes this California farm will be the place they can stay long enough to be able to save enough money to buy a haven all to their own. A place where Lennie's "difference" would not be a burden to himself or the people around him. But as fragile as a new born puppy, George and Lennie's chance of their "American Dream" is shattered when Lennie's strength gets the better of him and he murders Curly's ...view middle of the document...

Although small and simple, the idea to just own their own property and live together in solitude is George and Lennie's dream. But Lennie could be considered to be just like that small innocent puppy, not realizing the predatory powers that surround him, even though his size gives him more protection then most. It is Lennie's mind and vulnerability, just as the newborn pup, that results in his demise.
With just one action, George and Lennie's idea of their American stream is strangled lifeless. Lennie's death destroys the whole point of the dream in the first place. This for example does applies to the notion that the "American Dream" really is just a dream, one that will never transform into reality. If it could not apply to something so simple, so basic as buying a home and just living out their lives together, what makes someone think that the struggle for something of that magnitude is worth it when ? George and Lennie did this, strive so blindly for their dream, and not once did they ever beliieve it was something they could not have. In Of Mice and Men George says, "With us it ain’t like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us. We don’t have to sit in no bar room blowin’ in our jack jus’ because we got no place else to go. If them other guys gets in jail they can rot for all anybody gives a damn. But not us."
All of the characters in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men wanted something better then the life they were living. They all wanted their own "American Dream" but had difficulty finding that dream. It could be the fact that these characters did not have the true ambition or means to change their lives for themselves. Or it simply could be as Donna Kiser states in "The American Deam:Myth or Fact?", "The American DreamIt is alive and breaths fire into the hearts and minds of the unknowing and gullible American populace." BElieving that the "American Dream" is a rational goal really is as fatal as breathing in fire.

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