Of mice and men

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  • Publié le : 22 avril 2010
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In one’s life, we dream to live freely and happily and this matches the American Dream. The latter appears in “Of Mice and Men”, adapted from John Steinbeck’s novel and directed in 1992 by Gary Sinise. The American Dream represents "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” said J. Adams,the first writer who coined this term in his book “The Epic of America”. The American dream is a pillar of the American Constitution. In fact, The Declaration of Independence of the USA states that "all men are created equal” and are "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights” including "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. These rights represent the goal of George andLennie who are the main characters in the novel “Of Mice and Men”. These two migrant field workers came to a ranch near Soledad, California, to realize their American Dream. To what extent is Of mice and men a novel showing the American Dream?
At first, Steinbeck presents the American dream of each character and then shows its disintegration.

In “Of Mice and Men”, the American Dream appears underseveral aspects.
Several characters have an American Dream. The most important dream is George’s and Lennie’s one. It is very simple and modest: “Well,' said George, 'we'll have a big vegetable patch and a rabbit hutch and chickens. And when it rains in the winter, we'll just say the hell with goin' to work, and we'll build up a fire in the stove and set around it an' listen to the rain comin'down on the roof...”
George and Lennie’s dream seems to be a common one: a lot of migrant field workers like them want to a have a farm, as Crooks stated: “You’re nuts. Crooks was scornful. I see hunderds of men of men come by on the road an on the ranches with their bindles on their back an’ that same damn thing in their heads. Hunderds of them. They come, an’ they quit an’ go on; an’ every damnone of ‘em’s got a little piece of land in his head… I read plenty of books out here. Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody never gets no land. It’s just in their head. They’re all the time talkin’ about it, but it’s jus’ in their head.” According to Crooks, such a paradise of freedom, contentment and safety cannot be found in this world. However, George and Lennie‘s American Dream is so powerfulthat it attracts two other characters: Candy and Crooks. The most ordinary of ranch hands dream that they become heroes in western stories that are published in pulp magazines. The American Dream enables the characters to survive their dull and harsh life. In reason of their condition, they are denied what they want: status, respect and fulfillment. So, they are caught in a trap. Unfortunatelyfor them, no issue exists except the fantasy world of the American Dream where a thought can exist for a long time giving solace, comfort and the hope that the American Dream would come true. Even if their dream may be impossible, George and Lennie are convinced that it will come true. However, some events in the real world, like Curley’s attack on Lennie, disrupt their dreaming world and show themhow the real world is harsher and more horrible than their dream. Fulfilling the American Dream is not an easy task.
The American Dream’s spirit of Lennie and George is universal. In fact, all men dream of a life that will combine a feeling of freedom with personal fulfillment. Lennie’s and George’s dream is written in American terms but is directed at those constrained by Society.
However,Lennie and George aren’t the only people who have an American Dream. Curley’s wife has also hers which translates the same purpose although not the same content.
“Coulda been in the movies, an’ had nice clothes-all of 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...
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