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The American Dream is a mentality shared by many, men and women alike. Lennie and George shared the American dream with each other and hope deep in their hearts that they hoped would achieve this goal. Freedom, happiness, friendship and the chance to be successful. All these things are the right of all human beings, or are they? Fate is cruel and for many people the America Dream is an impossible feat.
For most of their adult lives, Lennie and George have worked for other people for minimum pay and no real reward. Although they received pay and food, there was no personal reward in working on the farm. George promised Lennie’s Aunt Clara that he would look out for Lennie, and George was determined to make the most out of their lives. He believed in the American Dream.
For Lennie, the American Dream is simple…he probably doesn’t even know what the America Dream is. For him, the only result that he wants in his life is to move onto a farm with George and tend to the rabbits. Lennie has an obsession with “soft things”, things that give him comfort, make him feel good. This can be explained by Lennie’s simplicity. He is like a small child. He is easily satisfied with the responsibility of tending to the rabbits and the love of a parental figure, George. We know that without George, Lennie would not know of the American Dream because the only things that Lennie is able to remember are the different things that George tells him.
Candy joins George in his dreams after the death of his old dog. Candy realizes that he is still on the farm for one reason and one reason alone: he had injured himself there. The Boss gave Candy the job of swamping after Candy lost his hand in an accident on the farm. Candy had his reasons for wanting to leave. He had almost outstayed his keep. He was worried about how long the Boss would keep him working there if he could hardly do a thing. After seeing what was done to his old dog, Candy knows that after he is turned to the door he will not be able to find anymore work and none will shoot him. He wants a guarantee that he will not be put out the door, no matter how little work he does. Candy is a key element to the progress of George’s version of the America Dream, money. When Candy injured himself, he was paid a large amount of money to compensate for him loss. This money plus his other savings would allow the dream to come true a lot faster than even Lennie expected. In exchange for this money that he is donating for the land, Candy is asking that he be allowed to do odd jobs, even if he’s not very good at them. He is asking to be fed. And, he has agreed to leave all his money in his will to Lennie and George, as he has no family. These events begin a friendship.
Although Crooks does not play a big role as the others, but he must still be mentioned. Lennie and Candy slip up in the barn and inform Crooks about the plan to leave. Crooks seems very interested in this plan. He too would like to move in with them. He agrees to do odd jobs for minimal pay and his food. His plans are later altered. He is colored. In the 1930’s, Black people were not allowed to participate in the America Dream, and Crooks knew it. He finally admitted this to himself and backed out of the plan.
George is the main person in this version of the American Dream. He was the one who first suggested it. George keeps Lennie happy by telling him about the farm and tending the rabbits. George plans to buy a farm, after he and Lennie build up a stake. This waiting time is cut short by Candy. George wants to move into this farm with Lennie, have rabbits and some livestock. He plans to live on the land. He plans to work for himself with no boss to tell him what to do. Many people have attempted this, but George plans to succeed.
Curley’s nameless wife plays a big role in ruining the American Dream, for Lennie at least. She encourages Lennie to touch her soft hair. He does this. Lennie likes the feel of her hair and when she asks him to stop, he does not. As the girl in Weed, she screams. In the struggle, Lennie ends up breaking her neck. This makes Lennie a hunted man and eventually forces George to kill Lennie out of pity…to put him out of his misery, like an old dog.
In conclusion, the America Dream plays a large role in the book Of Mice and Men, even if in the end it is ruined. We finally see the type of affection that George has for Lennie, he does not want Lennie to suffer, as an old dog should not. Lennie faced the same fate as Candy’s old dog. A shot in the back of the head, he didn’t even shudder.
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