Of Mice and Men and to Kill a Mockingbird

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The American Dream: Harper Lee and John Steinbeck

The American Dream ultimately means many things to many people. In many ways it can be argued to have originated with the ideals and success of Benjamin Franklin. As one author notes, “Franklin believed that the only true way to wealth was through hard work. This noble idea became the soul of the” American Dream," the idea that all people are created equal and each person has the same opportunity to achieve success”(Benjamin Franklin). However, that ideal of the American Dream became more associated with wealth and material wealth than it did with hard work and noble goals. So, the American Dream means many things to many different people. With that in mind the following paper compares and contrasts the American Dream presented in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. In Harper Lee’s novel the story is about a young girl, her brother, and her father who is a lawyer. This girl, Scout, grows and learns about many things through the course of the novel and it is often considered to be a coming of age novellas Scout grows up in many ways, seeing truth wherein she used to be innocent. When speaking of the American Dream in this novel one must perhaps look at Scout’s father. He is a man who is noble, honest, and humble. He fights for the rights of an African American accused of raping a white woman even though the small town despises his involvement. He fights for justice and equality in the world and one could well argue that thesis his American Dream. In Steinbeck’s the American Dream is far more readily defined. The two main characters, George and Lonnie are essentially wanderers during the Great Depression, seeking work and trying to survive as best they can. However, they aren’t necessarily happy with this reality for “George and Lennie dreamt of their ‘little house and a couple of acres’”. Throughout the story, up until the demise of Lennie, Lennie constantly...
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