John Steinbeck 's Of Mice And Men Essay

1311 Words Jun 8th, 2016 null Page
John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”, and Sam Mendes’ “American Beauty”, explore the fallacious and impossible nature of the ‘American dream’. The American dream encapsulates the ‘inalienable right to happiness’ in the American constitution, the individual right to dictate one’s own destiny and reap the rewards of hard work. Through comparative analysis of Steinbeck’s satire of the attainment of the dream as unrealistic, with themes of apathy and materiality, and Mendes’ subverted parody of suburban utopia as superficial consumerism the audience gain insight into the true nature of the American dream as either unattainable, intrinsically materialistic, and ultimately not the source of true happiness.

Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’ is a 1937 critical novella of American values and the struggles of the great depression, set in the Californian dustbowl. It details the journey of two migrant workers who seek happiness and the American dream through trying to find work, ultimately failing due to the apathy and greed of others. Steinbeck’s thesis illustrates the American dream as fallacious, a product of idolisation, rather than actual achievement. The inter-textualism of the title alludes to Robert Burns’s “Of a Mouse”, stating that “even the best laid plans of mice and men can go gang aft gangly”, denouncing the attainability of following one’s life to a plan. The motif of ‘mice’ extends further, with the protagonists seemingly anthropomorphised as outsiders from the onset,…

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