Pitfalls of the American Dream in of Mice and Men

10 October 2016

I feel that I am a citizen of the American Dream and that the revolutionary struggle against the American nightmare. ” This quote by Eldridge Cleaver states that one has the right to achieve the American Dream however, there are factors that work against one trying to achieve the American Dream. In John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice And Men” , the pitfalls of the American Dreams are more effectively demonstrated in comparison to the movies directed by Gary Sinise. Towards the beginning of the movie one can easily point out differences that were not in the novel. For example, in the book, Lennie and George were aware of Curley’s arriage. “”He got married a couple of weeks ago. Wife lives over in the boss’s house” (13). However, in the movie the men are not aware of Curley’s wife before she come into the room. This helps to give readers a hint on how this women will play a role in their failure at achieving the American Dream. In both the movie and the book, a women running for her life in a memorable red dress is presented, “He jus’ wanted to touch that red dress, like he wants to pet them pups all the time”(3. 28-30) It is later revealed that Lennie touched her and for that he was on the run.

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After the introduction of Curley’s wife, one can infer that something similar will happen with her and that this women will also be a pitfall in achieving the American Dream. “Tha’s good,” he said. “You drink some, George. You take a good big drink. ” He smiled happily. (1. 7) In this quotes from the book, the readers are lead to conclude that Lennie has mental disabilities as he can be compared to a child. In both the movie and the book, Lennie’s disabilities are displayed which can later on be a pitfall in achieving the American Dream. “Run us out, hell,” said George disgustedly. “We run. They was ookin’ for us, but they didn’t catch us” (1. 50-55) Both the movie and the book reveal the situation that occurred in the weeds, George and Lennie’s previous Jobs. Based on events from the past, readers can foreshadow that history will repeat it self which can add to the failure in achieving the American Dream. It is clear that many do not travel together. “‘Ain’t many guys travel around together,’ he mused. ‘I don’t know why. Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other'” (35). In both the book and the movie, Slim states that he doesn’t really see many traveling together.

In the book however, a better understanding of why men don’t travel together is created. Overall this quotes from the book can aid readers to predict that George and Lennie will not stay together after all and that their friendship will be put to the test. With this being said, their dream will be at risk. “The crash of the shot rolled up the hills and rolled down again” (106) Towards the end of both the movie and the book, George shoots Lennie. As it was previously predicted, Lennie’s past has caught up to him as he again has violated a women. In this case he has killed Curley’s wife.

Due to her death, Curley has vowed to make Lennie suffer. George felt the need to take matters into his own hands and kill Lennie. This event in both the movie and the book highlight the major pitfall of the American Dream. Now that Lennie is dead, the American Dream will not be achieved. However, the book demonstrated this pitfall by creating a better vivid image of what occurred. After analyzing both the movie and the book, one can conclude that John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice And Men” demonstrates the pitfalls of the American dream better than the move “Of Mice And Men” directed by Gary Sinise.

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