[i]My teacher gave me an essay question which is 'Explain an important theme in the text and how it was shown through characters.'
I have written an essay however I would like to get some feedback before I submit it as it may need some tweaking as English is not my best subject however I feel it is very important and therefore I need to try my best at it.
In John Steinbeck's novel "Of Mice and Men" an important theme is the impossibility of attaining the American dream. Many characters are caught up within this theme, this in the end is seen to be an illusion. For example George, Lennie and Candy all have the dream is to own their own piece of land to work and live independently on. This dream is destroyed by Lennie's death due to his ignorance and mental weakness, which he cannot control. Another example is Crooks who dreams for equality. He was promised equality within Lennie and George's dream, on the farm however racism and others attitudes towards him destroy his want for fulfilling this dream.
George and Lennie's dream was of their ideal life which was to live on a farm and to be their own bosses with no rules or restrictions unlike they have now working on ranches. However Lennie's dream also includes that of rabbits, "I remember about the rabbits, George", which he talks about constantly, "To hell with the rabbits. That's all you can ever remember is them rabbits." Steinbeck chose to show Lennie's desire for the rabbits as it strengthened the vision of the dream within ourselves, the readers, as it tugged on the childish part of ourselves. Reminding us of what it was like when we were young, ignorant and naïve. Although the two characters have contrasting personalities they share a common goal, to "live off the fatta the lan'", in many ways, Lennie completes George. They need each other in their lives not only to attain their dream but for company, "guy like us that live on ranches are the loneliest guys in the world...", as his despair at the end of the novel shows, George ultimately needs Lennie's innocence and child-like dreams just as much as Lennie depends on George's experience and protection. This dream is however only an illusion as it will never be able to be attained due to the harsh times that George and Lennie live in, this is during the Great Depression in the 1930's. The dream seems to be a sanctuary from cruel world they live in and both George and Lennie find sanctuary in it, this can be shown by how Steinbeck writes George telling Lennie the story of the dream before he goes to sleep, to give him peace of mind that tomorrow will be a better day, this is showing how much George cares for Lennie, although in the end he has to kill him. The killing can be seen as compassion due to the fact he is 'saving' Lennie from a painful death by the hands of Curley die to the fact Lennie accidentally killed his wife, however it is also seen as a reinforcement of the theme that the American Dream is an illusion as by his death Lennie is the closest to the dream as he is picturing it when he dies. As well as this George ends back where he started, no closer to the dream as he was in the beginning. Lennie was both an asset to George and he also held him back. By his death George could no longer attain the dream because he only had one source of income. However Lennie also held him back due to his mental weakness and him making them need to move due to things happening such as in Weed, George knew this by the line "If I was alone I could live so easily". This reinforces the fact that the dream with never be able to be attained as no matter what George does with Lennie he will not be able to reach the dream of owning his own land.
The dream that George and Lennie constantly talk about appeals to both Candy and Crooks who are restricted to working under the farm under the debilitating conditions of disability and racism. The two men want to join the dream desperately and Candy offers his life's savings, Crooks his free service, in order to be apart of the dream. However as soon as he offers his sharing of the dream, Crooks revokes it due to his realisation that he will never be able to reach the dream because of his race and others attitudes toward him and the dream. Crooks is shown as a bitter man however for a moment he allows himself to imagine the fantasy of tending a patch of garden on Lennie's farm one day. However the journey in Steinbeck writes George and Lennie taking, which in the end leaves Lennie dead tragically proves Crooks right; that a dream like theirs has no place in a world in which they live, one with hardship, poverty and injustice which reinforces Steinbeck's message of the impossibility of reaching the dream. This awakens George and Crooks to the impossibility of this dream. However Candy was the opposite of Crooks, he was positive the dream was going to happen, "I'd make a will an' leave my share to you guys in case I kick off, 'cause I ain't got no relatives or nothing..." and even told off the other ranch hands for not believing in it. In the end though when Lennie dies Candy will no longer offer his part in the dream because of the lack of Lennie's investment. This ends the dream for all of the men however it impacts Candy a lot due to his age and the fact that all his life he worked as a ranch hand and never really prospered. His regret for his life is shown in the quote "When they can me here I wisht somebody'd shoot me".
The dream was seen from the beginning to be destined to fail. This was seen by both Crooks and George who represent the reason part of us whereas Lennie and Candy's 'false hope' represent the more animalistic parts of us. George showed that he knew the dream was going to fail by the quote "I think I knowed from the very first. I think I knowed we'd never do her", however he still pursued the dream in the glimmer of hope for a better life, as did Crooks for a while. Steinbeck was trying to get across that no matter how hard you tried, just as Lennie and George did, the American Dream was simply just a dream. George and Lennie went in a complete circle and never achieved anything, shown by how Steinbeck paralleled the beginning and ending scenes. They both started out as having dreams they were hoping to achieve and by the end the dream was still as unattainable as at the beginning It did not matter how hard they worked, or how many other people were included in the dream, they were never going to be able to reach their goal of owning their own land and would just end up how they started.
Overall in John Steinbeck's novel "Of Mice and Men" an important theme is the unattainibility of the American dream. Within George and Lennie's dream of owning their own land other characters lie. For example Candy and Crooks who hope to make better lives for themselves and to relieve them of the things that are weighing them down such as race and disability. However in the end all of the characters ending up where they started, with a dream but being no closer towards it. Thus proving Steinbeck's purpose of showing the American Dream being and illusion.
I just read your essay on regarding the fallibility of the American dream and I have a few points which I feel are important to mention. Firstly, one thing about the essay that stood out to me was your structuring of it, which I thought was very good. By this I mean, you were successful in being able to position specific points mentioned in the introduction within the main body paragraphs, which is generally something that most students fail to do as they tend to digress into meaningless jargon that does not relate to the title question. This was what I picked up on a general level and is not to say that there aren't points within the essay where you have gone off into unnecessary talk, because there are occasional glimpses. Furthermore, I think IF you do tend to digress from the subject matter momentarily, in the future, perhaps try to link the extra material in an insightful way to the actual title question as this could gain you extra AO3 marks which could ultimately take you up a grade.
I did pick up on a few spelling errors and mistake in punctuation and grammar which I think need tending to if you have an extra 5 minutes to read over it. RE-reading your essay will help you tremendously in the future just so you can be absolutely sure that there are no silly errors or potentially significant ones that might give the examiner the wrong idea.
Overall, I feel that this essay has the potential to be a VERY strong one ( B/A/perhaps A* ) if you are willing to correct some clear silly errors and take some time to build up reinforced contexual knowledge.
Thanks for the submission and keep striving for greatness!
All the best,
Essay about Dreams in Of Mice and Men
1096 Words5 Pages
A Dream can be defined in as an ideal. The American dream is to be able to get by on your own, to be your own boss, to have a little piece of the world that is yours. Of Mice and Men.
A 'Dream' can be defined in as an ideal. The American dream is to be able to get by on your own, to be your own boss, to have a little piece of the world that is yours. Throughout 'Of Mice and Men' there are a series of people, whose dreams have been shattered because of something, and then there is George and Lennie's dream, which at first seems plausible but then shatters just like all the others.
George and Lennie are the main characters of the novel and therefore, their dream is the most prominent. It is their dream to one day, buy a
farm…show more content…
However, when he over hears George and Lennie talking about their dream and he offers to help, he seems to believe that the dream may just come back to him as he says "But I'll be on our own place, an' I'll be let to work on our own place." So it seems as if George and Lennie are Candy's salvation.
Crooks is the crippled, black, stable buck on the farm. Unlike the rest of the workers, he is alienated from the rest because of his skin colour. However this alienation has left him resentful of other people as "He kept his distance and demanded that others kept theirs." When
Crooks finds out about what is now George, Lennie and Candy's dream, he mocks it and tells Lennie and Candy "You'll talk about it a lot, but you won't get no land. You'll be a swamper here till they take you out in a box Lennie here'll quit an' be on the road in two, three weeks." Eventually, he is won over by the dream and he to becomes entwined in it, "If you guys would want a hand to work for nothing - just his keep, why'd I'd come an' lend a hand." However his dream doesn't last an hour as before Candy and Lennie can leave he says "
'Member what I said about hoein' and doin' odd jobs? Well, jus' forget it I didn' mean it. Jus' foolin'. I wouldn't want to go no place like that." This change I believe is brought on by Curley's Wife saying, "Well, you keep your place, then, Nigger. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain't even funny." This