Dreams Vs. Reality Essay

881 words - 4 pages

……………….. The American dream is defined as “the traditional social ideals of the US, such as equality, democracy, and material prosperity.” In the story Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, two men named George Milton and Lennie Small travel to a ranch during the time of the depression, looking for work. Throughout the story, George and Lennie keep in mind their dream of owning their own farm. George tries to keep Lennie, who has the mental capacity of a five year old, out of trouble. However, this doesn’t turn out well after Lennie accidentally kills Curley’s wife; a flirtatious woman who provoked him. In the end, George has to make the HORRIBLE decision to kill Lennie- his best friend. Of Mice and Men uses symbolism to emphasize that the American dream is very delicate, if not unobtainable, which allows it to be easily shattered.
George and Lennie’s dream of the farm is destroyed before the story even begins, because George knows it was never meant to be. Shortly after learning of Curley’s wife’s death, George speaks his mind to Candy; “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” (Steinbeck 94). In other words, George is admitting that deep down he always knew that they would never get the farm. George simply used the dream to keep Lennie happy. However, because Lennie loved it so much, George began to believe that it could actually happen. Although Candy was very upset about their dream being crushed, George new all along that it could never happen, but it was only brought to reality when Lennie killed Curley’s wife. Alternitively, Lennie’s mental state prevented him from ever realizing that the dream was a bust. George used the dream to put Lennie in a happy place right before George had to shoot him……….., Lennie’s mindlessness symbolizes that George and Lennie’s American dream was over since the beginning.
The failure to stand up against other men killing his dog symbolizes the idea that Candy’s dream of owning the farm with George and Lennie is going to fail. When only George, Lennie, and Candy were in the bunkhouse, Candy said; “I oughtta of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn’t oughtta of let no stranger shoot my dog” (Steinbeck 61). Candy was angry with himself because he let Carlson shoot his dog. Candy never wanted his dog to die, but he was afraid to stand up for it. The...

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