Of Mice And Men American Dream Theme

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America’s Declaration of Independence provides that people have the right to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’. This concept of an ‘American Dream’ provides that in the land of ‘hope and opportunity’, it is possible for anyone to get rich as long as they are willing to work hard for it. However, in his novel Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck demonstrates that the ‘American Dream’ was an impossible ideal for most people. The ‘impossibility of the American Dream’ is one of the major themes in Steinbeck’s novel. The other major theme that will be discussed is that of ‘loneliness’. These two themes are supported by various motifs, notably the contrast between the ‘strong and weak’. The setting of the novel takes place during the Great Depression, a time in America where there was rampant racial segregation and where women had unequal rights to men. During this time, it was common for people to migrate to find work; George and Lennie embodied such an experience. However, typically ranch workers did not travel together. As Slim observed, “Hardly none of the guys ever travel together. I hardly never seen two guys travel together. You know how the hands…show more content…
As a result, the majority of the characters in Of Mice and Men were lonely. ‘The American Dream’ was a source of hope for all of the characters in the novel. The possibility of achieving their dream gave the characters a reason for continuing on with their lives. However, Steinbeck showed how difficult it was to actually achieve that dream. Considering how difficult it was for George and Lennie, two white males to achieve their ‘American Dream’, for the elderly, people with disabilities, and women, it was much harder due to social discrimination. Despite being the land of hope and opportunity, in reality it was only possible for a few people to achieve the ‘American Dream’ that was sought after by
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