"Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck.

Essay by nmsystms@aol.comJunior High, 9th gradeA+, November 2003

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The American Dream and how it affects the Lennie

A lot of people have their own individual American Dream. Most dreams usually involve visions of what they want their lives to be. Everyone's dream can be different but usually includes being wealthy enough to enjoy life as they choose. In John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, the characters have to think of their individual dreams and try to turn their dreams into a reality. Steinbeck uses the character Lennie to portray the theme of the impossibility of the American dream. Lennie's value of power and love helps him in many different ways. However, his lack of knowledge hurts Lennie in the end and his dream fails.

Lennie's first value is his hard work and strength. George shows that Lennie is hardworking when he says, "No, he aint but he's sure a hell of a good worker. Strong as a bull" (22).

Lennie's power and strength strongly improve Lennie's chances of getting the job even though he has a lack of intelligence. This is because the job he is applying for doesn't really need much knowledge as it does for a hard working person. This value greatly helps Lennie try to reach his American dream because in order to own the land he wants, he needs money. Since he is a hard worker he will be able to get some. Lennie's values of hard work and strength show that Lennie is still able to get a job even with his lack of knowledge.

Another value of Lennie's is love. Lennie shows that he is loving when he says, "I get to tend the rabbits, right George" (31)? This shows that Lennie is loving because one can see that Lennie loves animals and wants to play with them, especially rabbits.