American Dream in “Of Mice and Men”
The American dream revolve around the multiple ideals for freedom and reaching your highest aspiration. The American dream serves as an idealistic hope for future which was very common in the working class men. the novella suggests that after all the idealism surrounding a hope for better and a freedom filled future it is all an impossible illusion to create a harder working class of men where in the end all of their hopes and dreams will be unattained this was mainly prevalent during the depression.
the novel is symbolic of the hardships faced by true society perceived through Lennie and Georges journey to unattained freedom, the dream was kept alive but never become reality due to the severity of crisis America was living through and the very risk to their own lives Male friendship. Necessary distraction, survival mechanism to not become lonely.
Emphasis on male friendship because men are the ones moving around the country to find the only jobs available which were hard labour.
Steinback argues ‘a man needs somebody’ in a society full of expectations for independence as the solidarity of independence during a crisis so severe like the depression a man needs someone to not become lonely (as seen with Lennie and George friendships also inspire hope of the American dream). George lies to Curley saying him and Lennie are cousins to seem less suspicious as any ties to another man out of solidarity and allegiance during the depression was unexpected. Broken plans.
Difficulty and futility of preparing/planning
Nearly all characters in the novel harbour dreams. Lifes tragedies and unexpected events lead to the interference of fulfilment of dreams. Key moment Lennie and Georges long lived dream for a plot of their own never succeeds as Lennie dies The weak & strong. Many characters long for friendships and support but due to the crisis in society many men were full of distrust and instead sought out dominance (seen when Carlson shoots candys dog). It is underlines that during the depression there was no use for the old and weak and instead many sought after the strong who could deliver. The struggle between the weak and strong is the novella defining conflict.
Steinback aims to emphasise the reality of only searching for the strong such as America did during the depression will lead to destined failure. A common notion towards the weak and strong is that during the great depression when work is scarce many can not afford to look weak and even show any signs of mental in capabilities due to the desperate need for hiring (when George and Lennie first go to the ranch George tells Lennie not to say anything because it will hint at the boss of lennies less mental capacity).
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