The American Dream In John Steinbeck's Life

1613 Words7 Pages
The American Dream has been present ever since the birth of America. Over the years, the definition has been heterogeneous. For many, it has been to earn a comfortable wage and provide for their families; for others, it could be to start a business or to simply help others. Only some have dreamed of riches or fame. In the 1930s, the American dream was on a smaller scale, due to the terrible and unstable state of the US economy. In modern times, the American dream isn’t a small, tight box anymore, it is a flexible mold of clay, expanding and contracting at your whim, as long as you put in the hard work and effort. These illustrated ideas were in the works of John Steinbeck 's (Of Mice and Men), Purdy Matthew (“Our towns: A chance to Live, and…show more content…
On the other hand, some people say that achieving their American dream from hard work and dedication is still impossible. This point of view makes sense because, in the 20th century America, life as an individual was a struggle, with or without a clear goal to strive for in mind. Many people lived paycheck to paycheck, hoping for a liberation from their monotonous lifestyle. In that era, the American dream was hardly possible due to the strict confines of the system; a mere pipe dream was all the people had. John Steinbeck portrayed the same state of harshness in Of Mice and Men. The book is a portrayal of the unforgiving and uncaring world he and all other be brought into. The plot revolves around the two protagonists: George and Lennie. George is Lennie’s parent and caretaker; his ability to think ahead and his powerful wit strikes a noticeable contrast with his accomplice. Lennie is a loveable dope character in every sense of the word; he lacks the intelligence to fend for himself and very heavily depends on George. His behavior and attitude toward life directly mimic that of a child 's. George is constantly conflicted in his opinion of Lennie, on one hand, he understands Lennie’s disabilities and cares for him like a brother. However, Lennie’s tendency to get in trouble is a huge burden on George. The relationship between the two reaches a boiling point after Lennie inadvertently kills the wife of the boss’s son, Curley, in the farm they had worked in for a few weeks. The hunt for Lennie starts after Candy finds Curley’s wife’s body in the barn. George takes it upon himself to provide a humane and peaceful death to Lennie, instead of having Curly lynch him. Being the first to find him, George gets Lennie to kneel and begins to feed him the fantasy that both wanted so desperately, “ Go on,’ said Lennie. ‘How’s it gonna be? We gonna get a little place.’ ‘We’ll have a cow,’ said George, ‘An’ we’ll have maybe a pig and’ chickens… an’ down the flat we’ll have
Open Document