The Most Important Themes In John Steinbeck's American Dream

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According to James Truslow Adams, the definition of the American Dream states, “Life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with equal opportunity for each according to ability or achievement, regardless of social class or circumstances of birth” ( ). An individual’s “American Dream” can be very different from another’s, but each one consists of hopes and dreams for every man, woman, and child. Thus, every single one is significantly important in a person’s life. However, during the 1930s many people in America did not view people and their dreams to be equal. One man by the name of John Steinbeck decided to express his thoughts against the prejudice society by putting his thoughts into an extraordinary story that shows …show more content…
In the poem “To a Mouse” by Robert Burns written in 1785, there is a line that states “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Meaning, everything in life will not always turn out as we wish it would, but that is normal and reality. In the book each character had their own “American Dream” that is very important to them. Curley’s wife hopes to someday leave her husband and become successful elsewhere. Lennie and George, along with Candy and eventually Crooks, dream to someday own their own farm and “live off the fatta’ the lan’” where all of them can be happy and no longer have to spend their long work days tired and miserable. When Lennie first tells Crooks about “the rabbits” and his dream of finally escaping with George, Crooks believes he is crazy. When the conversation continues between Crooks and Lennie, even Crooks confesses he could be of assistance if they needed him for their new home. “If you...guys would want a hand to work for nothing- just his keep, why I’d come an’ lend a hand. I ain’t so crippled I can’t work like a son-of-a-bitch if I want to” (Steinbeck 76). Each character has a dream of something wonderful that they are all determined to accomplish that will help them escape their lonely life of a migrant worker. Therefore, Steinbeck warns us with the title of the book of the unfortunate events that lie ahead. The best laid plans of …show more content…
Through the use of symbolism, Steinbeck is able to display how women were viewed and how sexism was a major problem during that time. Steinbeck illustrates Curley’s wife to be nothing but trouble for the men at the ranch. “She’s gonna make a mess. They’s gonna be a bad mess about her. She’s a jail bait all set on the trigger. That Curley got his work cut out for him. Ranch with a bunch of guys on it ain’t no place for a girl, specially like her” (Steinbeck 51). Steinbeck depicts Curley’s wife to look like a whore and as a woman with no relevance, which justifies the fact that she was never given a name in the first place. Multiple times in the story Curley is out and about looking for his wife, also portraying her to be a hassle and threat to all the men on the ranch. Symbolism allows Steinbeck to make Curley’s wife an archetype of women and how they were seen during the Great

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