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Depiction of American Dream in John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men"

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Book analysis

A rather short but interesting read by John Steinbeck called “Of Mice and Men” demonstrates a sort of utopian ideology, it conveys that for the vast majority the american dream is exactly that, but a dream. George and Lennie’s dream of owning a farm, would allow them to become independent and most importantly, offer them protection from an otherwise inhospitable and what they make out to be hopeless world, represents the stereotypical American ideal.

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When George goes into vivid detail about the farm he dreams of, it presents qualities become even more blatant. All the food they want will be readily available, with almost no effort. As Lennie says:”We could live offa the fatta the lan’.” (Chapter 3, pg. 57.) When George talks about their farm, he twice describes it in terms of things he loved in childhood: “I could build a smokehouse like the one gran’pa had…”

George hopes for his future to reflect the grandeur of his childhood, saying “An’ we’d keep a few pigeons to go flyin’ around the win’mill like they done when I was a kid.” George’s dreams of the future reflects the childish and almost absurd imaginative fortune it takes to have the “American Dream” Their journey, which provokes George to do 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 the world as we know it. It is a powerful dream, as even the cynical Crooks falls under its spell for a short time. For Lennie, the dream is an escape and he often asks George to recite the description of the farm to him.

The idea of the american dream is well represented in an optimistic fantasy of the farm by George and Lennie. The reality of the american dream for many became apparent when the characters never achieved their dreams, as many families struggle to make ends meet.

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So the book does represent the american dream, both the idea, and the reality. But in the end it’s obvious George will have to live out his dream alone. As the well known comedian George Carlin once said “That’s why they call it The American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.”

Works Cited

  1. Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. N.p.: Thornes, 1990. Print.

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Depiction of American Dream in John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”. (2018, April 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 28, 2023, from
“Depiction of American Dream in John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”.” GradesFixer, 27 Apr. 2018,
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