American Dream - American Beauty & of Mice and Men

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American Dream

Although the roots of the American Dream are founded on opportunity for all, it has become an inaccessible illusion for most. John Steinbeck’s novella “Of mice and men” explores the fragility of this concept in a more modern context. Whereas Sam Mendez’s film “American Beauty” uses black comedy to highlight the allusive nature of the American dream that has become perverted by an affiant society. Both of these texts expose a reality that reveals the isolation and loneliness experienced from pursuing American dream.

George and Lenny both shared “The American Dream” of owning their own small farm house. However they too were unable to grasp the reality when their dream became crushed by society’s expectations. ‘Some day – we’re gonna get the jack together and we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an’ a cow and some pigs and –‘, George and Lenny constantly repeats this phrase continuously throughout the novella, as their personal ambition and aim. It was this specific phrase that allowed our two protagonists to differentiate from others, it gave our protagonists hope as they were unique from all other farm workers ‘Guys like us, that work on ranches are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don’t belong no place. They come to a ranch an’ work up a stake and then they go inta town and blow their stake, and the first thing you know they’re poundin’ their tail on some other ranch’. Knowing that they were different from all other farm workers they motivated themselves to believe that they were able to obtain what others could not, as they were different from everyone else ‘They ain’t got nothing to look ahead to’ … ‘But not us!’ An’ why? Because … Because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that’s why’.

Our two protagonists can closely compared with the mouse in Robert Burns Poem “To a Mouse”. The mouse within Burns poems lived on a farm very similar to Lennie and...
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