Top-Rated Free Essay

Pitfalls of the American Dream in of Mice and Men

Good Essays
“I feel that I am a citizen of the American Dream and that the revolutionary

struggle against the American nightmare.” This quote by Eldridge Cleaver states that one

has the right to achieve the American Dream however, there are factors that work

against one trying to achieve the American Dream. In John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice And

Men” , the pitfalls of the American Dreams are more effectively demonstrated in

comparison to the movies directed by Gary Sinise.

Towards the beginning of the movie one can easily point out differences that were

not in the novel. For example, in the book, Lennie and George were aware of Curley’s

marriage. “"He got married a couple of weeks ago. Wife lives over in the boss's house"

(13). However, in the movie the men are not aware of Curley’s wife before she come into

the room. This helps to give readers a hint on how this women will play a role in their

failure at achieving the American Dream. In both the movie and the book, a women

running for her life in a memorable red dress is presented, “He jus' wanted to touch that

red dress, like he wants to pet them pups all the time"(3.28-30) It is later revealed that

Lennie touched her and for that he was on the run. After the introduction of Curley’s

wife, one can infer that something similar will happen with her and that this women will

also be a pitfall in achieving the American Dream.

"Tha's good," he said. "You drink some, George. You take a good big drink." He

smiled happily. (1.7) In this quotes from the book, the readers are lead to conclude that

Lennie has mental disabilities as he can be compared to a child. In both the movie and

the book, Lennie’s disabilities are displayed which can later on be a pitfall in achieving

the American Dream. "Run us out, hell," said George disgustedly. "We run. They was

lookin' for us, but they didn't catch us" (1.50-55) Both the movie and the book reveal the situation that occurred in the weeds, George and Lennie’s previous Jobs. Based on events

from the past, readers can foreshadow that history will repeat it self which can add to the

failure in achieving the American Dream.

It is clear that many do not travel together. "'Ain't many guys travel around

together,' he mused. 'I don't know why. Maybe ever'body in the whole damn world is

scared of each other'" (35). In both the book and the movie, Slim states that he doesn’t

really see many traveling together. In the book however, a better understanding of why

men don’t travel together is created. Overall this quotes from the book can aid readers to

predict that George and Lennie will not stay together after all and that their friendship

will be put to the test. With this being said, their dream will be at risk.

"The crash of the shot rolled up the hills and rolled down again" (106) Towards

the end of both the movie and the book, George shoots Lennie. As it was previously

predicted, Lennie’s past has caught up to him as he again has violated a women. In this

case he has killed Curley’s wife. Due to her death, Curley has vowed to make Lennie

suffer. George felt the need to take matters into his own hands and kill Lennie. This

event in both the movie and the book highlight the major pitfall of the American Dream.

Now that Lennie is dead, the American Dream will not be achieved. However, the book

demonstrated this pitfall by creating a better vivid image of what occurred. After

analyzing both the movie and the book, one can conclude that John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice

And Men” demonstrates the pitfalls of the American dream better than the move “Of

Mice And Men” directed by Gary Sinise.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    The American Dream-Of Mice and Men- Most of the characters in Of mice and Men, at one point or another, admit to dreaming of a different, more successful life. Before her accidental death, Curly’s wife, the symbol of temptation in the novel, has dreams of her own. She wanted badly to become an actress of work in show business.Crooks, bitter as he is, allows himself the pleasant fantasy of hoeing a patch of garden on Lennie’s Farm one day. Candy latches on desperately to George’s vision of owning…

    • 373 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Hopes and dreams are important in ‘Of Mice and Men.’ Not is it important to the characters of the story itself, it is the theme of the novel. In this essay I will talk about the hopes and dreams of the main ensemble and also about the context of the novel, the American Dream and the Great Depression on the 1930’s. I will also talk about the poem Steinbeck based the book’s title off and how important it is to the book’s overall theme. The dream of attaining land and – ultimately – happiness is…

    • 851 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Of Mice and Men When Of Mice and Men was published in 1937, the United States was in the grip of Great Depression. John Steinbeck, the author, saw firsthand the economic and social problems of the Great Depression in California. This provided material for three of his novels about agricultural workers. By the time he wrote Of Mice and Men, the industrial revolution was providing machines to replace ranch hands and there way of life was fast disappearing. Poverty and depression seem to hang over…

    • 732 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The American Dream in Of Mice and Men Of Mice and Men takes place in the 1930's of America during the Great Depression where the american dream was rarely reached and the land of fortune had become the land of misfortune. It was during this time that many farmers best hope for a new life lied in California.This vision has been extremely manipulated in the 20th century to fit the new standerads of Americans, which are greedy and selfish. The main characters opinions in the book Of Mice and…

    • 1079 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    What is the American Dream? According to James Truslow 's book, The Epic of America (ironically written in the 1930s), the American Dream is “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” (Truslow). In the 20th century, we have significantly warped that dream to suit a more selfish type of person. Citizens base the American Dream on something much more different then what it originally meant…

    • 1678 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The American Dream What is the definition of the American Dream? There are many different answers to this question, but the most common answer is “the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American” (Dictionary). The American Dream has changed dramatically, now its’ meaning has been interpreted differently. For many people, it has brought them to America in search for a better life. Unfortunately, the dream has not been as promising for everyone…

    • 1315 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The term American dream may not be used too often any more, but especially in the 1930’s it was a very motivating term for the working class. Whether their dream was to own their own company, support their family or even just own a piece of land to call their own, the thought of having a dream that they could fulfil if only they worked hard enough was keeping them moving forward. George and Lennie’s dream was the latter, they longed to own a piece of land, to have animals, and live so no one would…

    • 903 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    traditionally have been available to most Americans. However, in the novel, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck illustrates some examples of Americans who are not able to achieve the “American Dream”. Such as Lennie and George and Candy. A life situation with Americans who cannot achieve their American dream are severed disabled people. The “American Dream” is one many people have; however, reality sometimes prevents it from happening. Lennie and George had the “American Dream” of owning a farm and sharing the…

    • 558 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    This is a Story All About Dreams The American Dream is a large theme on which the novella "Of Mice and Men" is based on. Each character strives to achieve their own dream, and some without realising. Dreams are very important in the novella, because without them nobody has anything to work towards and to motivate them in life. Lennie's dream is probably brought up most throughout the novella, out of all the dreams. Lennie's dream is to get 'the fatta the lan" with a small place and rabbits. Lennie…

    • 768 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Eleni Velalis Dr. Abala ENG 111-07 February 9, 2017 The Dead American Dream The American Dream is the set belief that one can achieve success on any level through hard work and sacrifice. Every person wishes to attain the American Dream, but not everybody is willing to put forth the effort and hard work. In the novella, Of Mice and Men, written by John Steinbeck, the story takes place during the Great Depression. The novella begins alongside the Salinas River near Soledad, California. George…

    • 1825 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Better Essays