The American Dream According to John Steinbeck

970 words 4 pages
The American Dream

John Steinbeck, author of many classic American novels, greatly influenced modern American literature. Steinbeck often referred to the Salinas Valley of California in his writing. He often referred to the settlers and the adversities they had faced during the migration to the Salinas Valley area. With novels such as Of Mice And Men and The Grapes Of Wrath, Steinbeck explained the harsh reality of the severe hardships the settlers faced to accomplish the American Dream. These novels share many similarities in regard to their themes. To understand Steinbeck's work, we must first understand Steinbeck. John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California in 1902. His father was a treasurer for the county. Steinbeck's mother
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George is tormented later in the story by Lennie's actions. He accidentally broke Curley's wife's neck and killed her. Fearful of his own life, George takes the law into his own hands. George shoots Lennie in the head and kills him. George killing Lennie signifies yet another theme of the novel. This theme of course, "Survival of the Fittest." George is now able to attempt to acquire his dreams by owning a piece of the American Pie without the burden of fleeing to cover Lennie's mistakes. In The Grapes Of Wrath, the pursuit of the American Dream cannot be more obvious. The Joad's, the main characters of the novel, are evicted from their farm in Oklahoma after a bank foreclosure. With no place to go, the family decides to head west toward California. The Joad's dreamt that they could claim a piece of land in California. The trip to California was a struggle among the Joad's as well as other characters throughout the novel. The grandfather died along the journey signifying a death and rebirth. The death being the foreclosure of the Joad's farm and uprooting the family. The rebirth being the arrival of the Joad's in California and replanting the family's roots. When the family reached California, they quickly learned how money was not only a factor back in Oklahoma. The landowners of the Salinas Valley were wealthy and greedy. The wealthy farmers threatened to run small farmers out of business and succeeded. These landowners would