The Impossibility of the American Dream – Steinbeck’s – Of Men and Mice.In the novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, the theme of The American dream is shown through the characters of George, Curley’s wife and Crooks George and Lenny have a dream of living a different life of untarnished happiness, and freedom to follow their heart desires.They dream of owning their own farm to Georges Plan which he already knew the couple he’d buy a piece of land, a hope of making it a ranch with an elaborate plan of how to raise capital it seems like the dream could come true after all. The masculine domesticity with a spice of racism is well demonstrated by their description of their dream. He fantasizes of the Grade A American Dream too of heading out of west for Gold.
The circumstances under which they were living just like many Americans robbed them their wish.Lennie watched him with wide eyes, and old Candy watched him too. Lennie said softly, “We could live offa the fatta the lan’.” “Sure,” said George. “All kin’s a vegetables in the garden, and if we want a little whisky we can sell a few eggs or something, or some milk.
We’d jus’ live there. We’d belong there. There wouldn’t be no more runnin’ round the country and gettin’ fed by a Jap cook. No, sir, we’d have our own place where we belonged and not sleep in no bunk house.” (Steinbeck 28).
It is the dreams, the hope and the plans of these characters that make the book end at a sad note for them not being actualized. Curley’s wife American Dream was to be a celebrity even despite being in unfulfilling marriage. She valued her beauty and used it to flirt to a point of making her husband jealous.
Being the Eve in the Ranch Curley had to device a way of protecting his jewel and still spares a smooth hand for her. Curley’s wife despite being in a ranch her sense of dressing, red fingernails, and red shoes with ostrich feathers (Steinbeck 42) clearly denotes somebody who is still holding unto his dreams and believes she can still do it. Before her Death she explained to Lenny about her dream.
“Well, I ain’t told this to nobody before. May be I oughten to. I don’ like Curley. He ain’t a nice fella.” And because she had confided in him, she moved closer to Lennie and sat beside him. “Coulda been in the movies, an’ had nice clothes- all them nice clothes like they wear. An’ I coulda sat in them big hotels, an’ had pitchers took of me.
When they had them previews I coulda went to them, an’ spoke in the radio, an’ it wouldn’ta cost me a cent because I was in the pitcher. An’ all them nice clothes like they wear. Because this guy says I was a natural.” (Steinbeck 44)The circumstances that robbed her American dream according to her was early marriage and probably her letter being hidden by her Mother who didn’t value the profession and therefore she has resigned herself to this unfulfilling marriage with Curley.On a Sunday afternoon, Crooks with all his Scornfulness’ betrayed his conscience. He harbored An American Dream of freedom. Although he believed it to be difficult for Lennie, George and Candy and Curley’s wife to achieve their dreams with the circumstances they were in, he still had a feeling it’s possible and dreams of one day hoeing a patch of garden on Lennie’s farm.The old man squirmed uncomfortably.
“Well- hell! I had him so long. Had him since he was a pup. I herded sheep with him.
” He said proudly, “You wouldn’t think it to look at him now, but he was the best damn sheep dog I ever seen.”(Steinbeck 22) The fear of uncertainty, the fear of change holds candy from working towards his dream. The way he feared shooting his Dog too – Conservative nature it’s made worse when he wants to influence others too. The American Dream of freedom for Crooks seems possible from far, he needs to be empowered and made believe by mentorship of the likes of George to believe he can do it.