Failures Of The American Dream In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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To what extent does Lenny represent the failures of the American dream in Of Mice and Men? Introduction: In John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, the American dream, the hope and desire for a better life, is a central theme, in Steinbeck’s words the novel is a “… study of the dreams and pleasures of everyone in the world.” Throughout history the notion of the American dream has presented an ethos- that any hard working person can achieve success, both financially and in the fulfillment of their life dreams and ambitions, regardless of background and initial social standing. America is the land of freedom and opportunity and there are few barriers to success. Of Mice and Men, published in 1937, depicts Lennie and George, two migrant farm workers striving towards, what would seem to be, a common dream of owning a house and some land. Lennie, as a character, symbolizes the imperfection in humanity that Steinbeck…show more content…
The tight spaces convey the men’s entrapment while the broad valley suggests their own feebleness and lack of significance. Another element of foreshadowing is found in the town name Soledad, which translates from Spanish to solitude, which works together with the symbolic description in the opening scene to foreshadow the lonely and bleak experiences of the characters on the ranch. Steinbeck opened and concluded the novel with equivalent landscape description to illustrate that nature doesn’t change, no matter what happens to humanity. Going back to the novel’s original title “Something that happened”, something happened (that being Lennie murdering Curley’s wife) that ends Lennie’s existence and his, be it remote, possibility of achieving the American dream, yet nature persists and goes on with life. An individual’s failure to achieve the unattainable American dream does not affect nature in any way and is
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