In the novella of mice and men the author, Steinbeck, is portraying the failure of the American dream during the great depression in the late nineteen thirties. The American dream dates from the early settlements that were forming in the early sixteen hundreds with the colonization of the new world. This dream came from the people fleeing from difficulties in their own countries and seeking a new and better life in America. They believed that America was the land of opportunity and by leaving Europe they would be better off. America was the land of opportunity where they would be able to own their own land and could become nearly totally self-sufficient. This was the standard American dream right up to the early nineteen fifties. This has resulted in European people emigrating to America throughout its history. This dream was mostly fulfilled up until the early twentieth century when due to the economic collapse of America the American dream lead to just as much hardship and suffering as the people coming into the country would have felt if the had stayed in their home country.
The American dream the started to become just a dream that was inaccessible to most people. There became mass unemployment t and the immigrants who had come to America looking for self-sufficiency and the American dream became traveling laborers traveling from ranch to ranch looking for work.