Fall Of The American Dream Essay

1046 words - 5 pages

The American Dream is a goal for which many have strived for hundreds of years. Some have succeeded in this endeavor, countless others have failed. There are as many ways to define the American Dream as there are Americans. Sadly, not everyone gets to complete theirs. Many factors can contribute to the Dream’s failure, from personal mistakes to societal oppression. No book proves this fact better than Of Mice and Men. In John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, the four characters who best demonstrate failures of the American Dream are George and Lennie, Curley’s wife, and Crooks.
The first example shown by Steinbeck is the main characters of the book, George and Lennie. Their American Dream is ...view middle of the document...

Later in the book, when George kills Lennie, the Dream is obviously over for him, but also in a way for George. While George may eventually recover in this incident, he will never be the same without Lennie. Most likely, he will forever live with the guilt of killing his only friend, forever wondering if there is another way they could have escaped. In this way, both of their Dreams sadly come to an end.
Secondly, Curley’s wife also demonstrates how the American Dream can fail. During a conversation with Lennie, she tells him about her American Dream, as well as how it failed. She tells him about how she had the chance to become a celebrity, until that chance was taken from her. She talks about a talent scout of some sort, who had told her that she “‘Coulda been in the movies… an’ had pitchers took of me,’” as she puts it. (Steinbeck 88). She shows that she once had an ambitious American Dream- to become a rich, famous celebrity. She talks about how she “‘… was a natural’” (Steinbeck 88), and how she could have succeeded, were it not for her mother. She goes on to say how her mother refused to let her go, and prevented her from achieving her dreams. She then tells Lennie how her marriage further cemented her ordeal, and how much she dislikes it. “‘I don’t like Curley. He ain’t a nice fella’” (Steinbeck 89), she says, going on to say how Curley holds her back. He does so by refusing to let her even talk to people, let alone do something on her own. Her character shows another way the dream can fail, by the actions of others in one’s life.
The final character for whom the Dream is out of reach is Crooks. Although he never specifically states his American Dream, it is probably similar to George and Lennie’s dream of owning land. This becomes apparent when he makes a request of the two, saying, “‘If you.., guys would want a hand to work...

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