The Unattainable American Dream- Of Mice and Men

In the 1930s, the Great Depression had engrossed itself into the nation of America. Jobs were scarce and the development of technology to assist the farming industry threatened the security of jobs. Many Itinerant workers longed to be part of the great American Dream. This dream was described as the dream of a land in which all life is better and richer and fuller for every man. The American Dream is a prominent theme in John Steinbeck’s novel, Of Mice and Men, and provides the basis for the novel. It is sought after by several different characters, each with their own unique visions and ambitions. However, Steinbeck presents this concept as something unattainable in the story. This is a prevalent in the cases of Curley’s wife who desires stardom and attention. It is also seen with both George and Lennie, who have a separate dream involving the shared dream of them owning a farm. All of these characters have displayed thoughts about their visions of the American Dream throughout the novel, but have eventually been crushed at near the final stage of the novel. Curley’s wife dream of becoming an actress in Hollywood is unattained as a result of an unfulfilling marriage and her death. Her dream differs from the other rancher as she desires attention and admiration from others, similar to the dreams of shared by a majority women during the 1930’s. She confesses her desire to Lennie in the barn one night, “’Nother time I met a guy, an’ he was in pictures. […] He says he was gonna put me in the movies. Says I was a natural.” (Steinbeck, 2006, p.44) This would indicate the strong desire Curley’s wife has to be admired by others and have fame. However, her marriage with Curley has restricted her from interacting with others and most importantly, accomplishing her dreams as she describes to Lennie, “but I can’t talk to nobody but Curley. Else he gets mad I coulda made somethin’ of myself.” (Steinbeck, 2006, p.98). It can be deduced that her husband, Curley, has…

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