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Throughout history, there has always been an American dream. This dream is different for every person that has it, but has a simple similarity. The American dream, whether you are white, black orange, or even purple, is the pursuit of happiness. The book I feel shows the American dream image the best is Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Throughout their entire journey, they keep their American dream going. You can tell the difference in how they talk about the dream in the past farm, the present farm, and right before the end.
In the town of Weed located in Siskiyou County, the journey of George Milton and Lennie Small begins. George is a average sized, well looked man with a good head on his shoulders. Lennie is a mentally disabled big guy who has the mind of a child. George promised before his Aunt died that he would take care of Lennie. Ever since he has, they’ve had a dream in between them. Every time they seem to edge closer to this dream, Lennie does something to mess it up.
While in the town of weed, they became stable and were getting regular money every week. One day, while at a town get together, Lennie saw this woman. She was pretty, and has a nice red dress on. Lennie, having the mind of a child, wanted to feel her dress to see if it was soft. When Lennie grabbed her dress, she thought he was trying to rape her. This made George and Lennie have to run away before they caught them. Once they got away, Lennie began crying and telling George sorry. George said it was ok, and to make him feel better, he told him the dream again. In the first chapter of the book, he said “Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no fambly. They don’t belong no place. They come to a ranch an’ work up a stake and then they go into town and blow their stake, and the first thing you know they’re poundin’ their tail on some other ranch. They ain’t got nothing to look ahead to.”(Steinbeck 23) This is where they talk about how they are different. George continued, “Someday-we’re gonna get the jack together and we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres and cows and some pigs-“. This is where Lennie interrupts him by saying how he is going to take care of the rabbits. As part of Lennie’s disorder, he also has short-term memory loss. The only thing he remembers about the dream is that he is going to take car of the rabbits. As they move from farm to farm for the same reason they left Weed, George becomes more and more aggravated with Lennie. Soon after getting of the bus after leaving Weed, he yells at Lennie, telling him how he could live easy without Lennie and that George could keep a job. Since Lennie is a man-child, he takes it personal and says he doesn’t want the dream anymore.
After their long walk after the long bus ride, they finally come across their new ranch. When they finally showed, the ranch owner yelled at them for being late. George told Lennie not to talk since he isn’t able to talk very well. Once they made it back to the bunkhouse, they met many interesting people. These people, just like them, have dreams of their own. Although most of the time everyone has different dreams, they usually have a common denominator. George and Lennie want their own farm where they can live peacefully, and Lennie can tend to the rabbits. They talk about how they’re going to make it out of the farms, like many others. When Candy found out, he became extremely excited and eager to join them in their dream. He offered to give all of his savings, as well as cook, tend to the chickens, and garden some. Although he wouldn’t be able to contribute a lot, it was the fact of how he would give everything he had for an American dream. In these times, working hard on a farm, everyone wants a dream they can escape to get away from reality. When Crooks heard of the dream, he thought Lennie was crazy. He thought Lennie was just being crazy, since his mind wasn’t “all the way there”. Saying “it’s jus’ in their head.”(Westwood 1) He kept teasing Lennie about his idea, until Candy came into the room. Candy then told Crooks that he already has the money, and that there’s nothing standing in their way. Once Crooks heard they already had the money, he began to realize that they were telling the truth. He then asked Candy if there were any chance they would use him on the farm. He said that he would work for nothing, just his stay. This soon to be true dream was soon destroyed, like so many others.
Soon after the talk of being so close to the dream, one event destroyed the entire thought. While Lennie was in the bunkhouse, and everyone else was outside, Curley’s wife (Curley is the son of the ranch owner) came in. Ever since Lennie has came, she has been looking at him, telling him he looks handsome, and obviously has tried taking advantage of him. When she came in, he was sitting on his bed. They started talking, he began feeling her hair, then his hand got tangled up. She then began freaking out, screaming, and telling Lennie to stop. Lennie didn’t know what to do, so he started shaking her. This made a sudden silence, due to him breaking her neck. Once Lennie realized what he did, he ran away. Soon after, the people of the ranch found out. Curley then said he was going to kill Lennie, and began running after him. George knew where Lennie was, so he sent Curley the other way, and went to Lennie. Once he found him, they sat down, once again repeating the dream. They were going to own 10 acres of land. They were going to have all the animals as a usual farm, and Lennie was going to tend to the rabbits. He told Lennie to visualize the farm, and then shot Lennie in the back of the head. With Lennie’s death, it ended the idea of their American Dream.
In conclusion, this book represents the idea of the American dream.
Although some of the American dreams become true, most don’t. George and Lennie always looked forward to their farm, keeping their head up through all the pain they were going through. In the end, similar to most others, their dream ended in a sad tragedy therefor killing their American dream. The American dream is a dream everyone has, and so many fail to achieve.
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