Of Mice and Men and A Raisin in the Sun: The American Dream

Pages: 1 (430 words) Published: February 23, 2014
Thesis: The novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and the play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry show that there is great struggle in reaching The American Dream. 1.In this novel Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck exposes the American Dream as unattainable through his settings, symbolization, and characters. a.Steinbeck uses his settings to illuminate the unrealistic concept of the American Dream. In Of Mice and Men, the story unfolds on a ranch, where every worker desires the American Dream, but none acquire it. i.For instance, Curley’s wife, who aspires to be a movie star, is murdered and Candy, who wishes to own a farm with Lennie and George, is condemned to remain at the ranch at the ranch. As George is exciting Lennie with their future home and land, George describes men who work on ranches. He announces, “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 in some other ranch. They ain’t got nothing to look ahead to” (13-14). Despite the ranch’s employees’ daily labor, all they have to look forward to is the next week’s redundant momentary contentment. b.Steinbeck uses symbolization to propose the American Dream is unreachable. ii.Curley’s wife, in Of Mice and Men, finds Lennie alone in the ban one night and confesses it him her broken lifelong dream of becoming a movie star. She explains, “Well, a show came through, an’ I met one of the actors. He says I could go with that show. But my ol’ lady wouldn’t let me… If I’d went, I wouldn’t be livin’ like this, you bet” (88). Curley’s nameless wife is not a character, but the embodiment of the unattainable American Dream. She is an excellent example of the countless people who were forced to settle for less than the perfection of the dream. c.Steinbeck uses his characters to explore the dream’s inability to be obtained. iii.George and Lennie, in Of Mice and Men, desire a house on a farm, but when Lennie...
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