The American Dream In John Steinbeck's novel "Of Mice and Men" and Lorraine Hansberry's play "A Raisin in the Sun" .

Essay by rbferry May 2003

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Immigrants from all over the world have gone to the United States of America in the hope of finding a better life for themselves and their children. This started with the Pilgrim fathers who saw America as a land of bounty where they would find both material and spiritual fulfillment. However, as the material improvement was easier and surpassed the spiritual purpose, their dream became purely material and therefore a failure from the point of view of many authors. This dream is fueled by the hope of one day leading a happy and prosperous life in a land that, more than any other country, allows the people the chance to "write the script of their own lives". The American Dream became the idea of an individual overcoming all obstacles and beating all odds to one day be successful. This subject is the predominant theme in John Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men as well as Lorraine Hansberry's classic play, "A Raisin in the Sun".

Of Mice and Men, which takes place during the Great Depression in California, begins with George and his lumbering friend Lennie following a dusty path along the banks of the Salinas River, with their only possessions, their bedrolls and a few articles of clothing. Lennie, a mentally slow yet harmless man, had cost them their previous jobs; his innocent fascination with a young girl's red dress and his clumsy attempt to touch it had frightened the girl, forcing them to flee an angry mob. Now they were heading to a nearby ranch to sign on as farmhands. Using Lennie's love of animals as a means of control, George once more warned his friend that if he didn't keep quiet, or if he caused any trouble at the ranch, they wouldn't get the job they so badly...