The American Dream

The American Dream John Steinbeck is an accomplished writer who captures the plight of people in Salinas’s valley who are at the bottom of America’s society in the 1930’s. In his great book, Of Mice and Men, he depicts two disadvantaged friends who are striving for their own dreams (Associated Press, Online). This American dream they wish to fulfill is one of the many themes in this tragic tale of two best friends. John Steinbeck’s themes are realistic, and make Of Mice and Men an American literature masterpiece (Grolier15-16). Steinbeck decided to write this story after reading “To a Mouse”, by Robert Burns. Steinbeck finds one of his main themes from Burns’ poem: But mouse, you are not alone, in proving foresight may be vain: the best laid scheme of mice and men go often askew, and leaves us nothing but grief and pain, for promised joy! (World Burns Club, Online). Of Mice and Men is a story depicting George and Lennie’s life journey. George is a regular man who looks after the delicate partially retarded giant Lennie. Both are trying to make it in the harsh work world, and to ultimately fulfill the dream of owning their own farm. This is hard to come by because Lennie keeps getting in trouble and they both have to pick up and leave immediately. They end up in Salinas Valley working on a ranch. They join forces with an old man named Candy who decides to give his money to George and Lennie so that they are even closer to their dream, a ranch house of their own. Everything seems to be going perfectly, and their dream is within reach (Steinbeck). Just like the mouse in the poem, George and Lennie’s dreams are deferred. Lennie, who does not know his own strength, accidentally kills Curley’s wife. George knows that he cannot save Lennie anymore, and that they will never obtain their dream house. In the end, George decides that they cannot keep running, so he puts Lennie out of his misery (Spark Notes, Online). …

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