Of Mice and Men
The Lost American Dream
It is the natural inclination of all men to dream. Some may have short-term goals, and others may have life-long ambitions. Despite what cynics say, the American people are hopeful and waiting for something great. In Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck paints a portrait of characters who, longing for something outside of their monotonous lives, each have a lost dream that supports Steinbeck's view that the American dream is a lost cause.
Lennie's dream to tend to rabbits does not come true because of his own deficiencies and the obstacles of society. As Lennie and George, Lennie's companion and protector, travel through the woods to their next ranch-hand job, George confronts Lennie about keeping a dead mouse in his pocket and demands Lennie hand it over, "Lennie hesitate[s], back[s] away, look[s] wildly at the brush line as though he contemplated running for his freedom." George insists, "The mouse ain't fresh, Lennie; and besides, you've broke it pettin' it," and reminds Lennie of his past history of killing mice, so, then "Lennie look[s] sadly up at him... 'I'd pet em,' and pretty soon they bit my fingers and I pinched their heads a little and then they was...
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