The Dream of Dreamers
Steinbeck incorporates the theme of the American Dream, an expression used to represent wanted success, throughout his story Of Mice and Men as he provides glimpses of the dreams of many characters. Towards the end of the novel, the fact is that each of the characters “American Dream” is just that, a dream, which is unattainable. In short, Steinbeck portrays his position of the unrealistic desires for untarnished happiness through the dreams of Candy, Curley’s Wife, and Crooks in Of Mice and Men.
First, Candy has the dream of getting him a piece of George and Lennie’s land on their farm. This small piece of land means much to Candy, as shown in chapter 3, Candy is talking to George and says, “…you’ll let me hoe in the garden even after I ain’t no good at it. An’ I’ll wash dishes an’ little chicken stuff like that…I’ll be let to work on our own place” (p. 60). From this, it is suggested that all Candy wants is a small piece of land where he can go when he is considered old and worthless by others. It is his ticket for feeling useful, and not living off streets once he cannot perform his job as a swamper. Although the plan seemed superb, it was ultimately flawed. Candy could have probably made the rest of the money as he promised, but because Lennie killed Curley’s wife in chapter 5, they could never go through with the impractical plan. The decision of not getting the farm and his land solidified by what George said to Candy in chapter 5, “—I think I knowed from the very first. I think I knowed we’d never do her. He usta like to hear about it so much I got to thinking maybe we would” (p. 94). Conclusively, Steinbeck shows that the dreams of many are destroyed by reality and unfortuitous circumstances through the destruction of Candy’s dream.
Another dream was that of Curley’s wife which she admitted to wanting to be an actress to Lennie in chapter 5. She says, “Went out to the Riverside Dance Palace with him. He says he was...
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