How Does Steinback Show the Power of Dreams & Dreaming in the Novella

Topics: Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck, Novella Pages: 2 (811 words) Published: February 4, 2013
How does Steinback show the power of dreams & dreaming in the Novella?

From 1920 - 1921 many Americans experienced a reduced quality of life, as the majority were suffering from economic and social decline brought about by a severe depression after the end of World War 1. Steinbeck portrays the pain of living in that time in his book 'Of Mice and Men', when families were separated, and lives were destroyed. He introduced the 'American Dream' - the idea of working hard to be able to afford a nice car and support your family, raising your quality of life. Steinbeck invites us to understand how people of this time live their lives, and how having this dream keeps them going. Throughout the Novella, Steinbeck makes this 'dream' central to the story for both the reader and the characters. The impact of the dream affects everyone's lives and mood. If Lennie does a ‘bad thing’, he instantly gets aggressive and upset about losing the dream. If they make a step towards making the dream come true, George and Lennie instantly get excited and happy. Many dreams are made, many are broken. From the first mention of the dream where Lennie asks George to tell him about their future together, to get "a flat a land" and how Lennie will "tend the rabbits", to Lennie’s last words; "let's do it now, I wanna get that place now". George rarely gets excited, in fact it seems to be that he only mentions the dream to make Lennie happy, or to comfort him. Lennie's constant attention to the dream means he is rarely thinking of anything else. He is always worried his actions will effect and destroy the dream, and George uses this to his advantage, and manages to threaten and control Lennie by blackmailing him about the dream, for example when he says "If you do, I won't let you tend the rabbits." This affects the relationship, and makes it less friendly because George feels the need to control Lennie, as Lennie is often forgetful and unreliable. He is oblivious to what is happening...
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