I need quotes from Of Mice And Men about the American Dream of Lennie, George, Crooks, and Curley.

Quotes from Of Mice and Men about the American Dream of Lennie, George, Crooks, and Curley include George's description of his farm with Lennie, which would include "maybe a pig an' chickens" and a piece of property they control, and Crooks's statement that he was "Jus' foolin'" and "wouldn' want to go no place like that." Curley never talks about his dreams, but based on his personality and actions they may have to do with dominating others.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

For Lennie, George, and Crooks, the American Dream is similar: the dream of the independence, stability, and community of living on a small farm. For Lennie more than the others, however, the dream focuses on being able to have animals to tend, especially rabbits. At the end of the novella, George is getting ready to shoot Lennie before Curley and his men can sadistically kill him. To comfort his friend, George tailors the telling of the farm dream to Lennie's needs, with Lennie eagerly joining in:

"Go on," said Lennie. "How's it gonna be. We gonna get a little place." "We'll have a cow," said George. "An' we'll have maybe a pig an' chickens ... an' down the flat we'll have a ... little piece alfalfa—"

"For the rabbits," Lennie shouted.

"For the rabbits," George repeated. "And I get to tend the rabbits." "An' you get to tend the rabbits."

Lennie giggled with happiness. "An' live on the fatta the lan'."

For George, the dream is more about gaining control over his life. For him the farm is a place where he can take a day off when he wants, offer hospitality to whomever he wants, and exclude people like Curley who are difficult:

He looked raptly at the wall over Lennie's head. "An' it'd be our own, an' nobody could can us. If we don't like a guy we can say, 'Get the hell out,' and by God he's got to do it. An' if a fren' come along, why we'd have an extra bunk, an' we'd say, 'Why don't you spen' the night?' an' by God he would."

Crooks has a more limited dream, reflecting the more limited circumstances of Black people in 1930s America. He sees the farm as a refuge where he would be willing to compromise and work without pay to get a berth. But this momentary burst of hope and enthusiasm is destroyed when Curley's wife humiliates him in front of the others by threatening to have him lynched. At this point, Crook shows his realization that the dream is out of reach for him as a Black man:

"Well, jus' forget it," said Crooks. "I didn't mean it. Jus' foolin'. I wouldn' want to go no place like that."

Curley never talks about the American Dream but we can surmise from how he behaves that his version of the dream is being able to dominate others.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on June 23, 2020
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Many quotes are available within the text that portray the American Dream, as stated in the above responses. However, ironically, Crooks' dream is not owning a piece of land but wanting to be a slave again as illustrated in this quote: "[Crooks] hesitated. ' . . . If you . . . guys would want a hand to work for nothing—just his keep, why I'd come an' lend a hand. I ain't so crippled I can't work like a son-of-a-bitch if I want to'" (Chapter 4). Crooks' dream is to be accepted.

Curley, who was a professional boxer, is a mean-spirited character. Again, ironically, he doesn't seem to have a dream except to bully others and fight. At the moment of George and Lennie's arrival, "Curley stepped gingerly close to him [Lennie]. 'You the new guys the old man was waitin’ for?'" (Chapter 2). This foreshadows the aggressiveness that Curley exhibits later in the novel.

'''We're gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an' a cow and some pigs and . . . '" George and Lennie have a dream to own land. Lennie adds to that dream with his desire for rabbits: "'An' live off the fatta the lan',' Lennie shouted. 'An' have rabbits. Go on, George! Tell about what we're gonna have in the garden and about the rabbits in the cages and about the rain in the winter and the stove, and how thick the cream is on the milk like you can hardly cut it. Tell about that George'" (Chapter 1). This dream further extends to Candy who wants to share in their dream and offers them his $300.00 to help make it a reality (Chapter 3).

Unfortunately, this work is focused on the American Dream, which is unobtainable for the characters in the work. The reasons why this dream is unobtainable is a good area for further investigation.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Hi Sean,

I'll get you started, but I think you're fully capable of getting a few yourself.

Just to make sure you understand what you're looking for, within the context of OMAM, is that America holds endless possibilities. In the words of James Truslow Adams in his book The Epic of America:

The American Dream is "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to achieve the fullest stature of which they are capable of, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the circumstances of birth or position.

If we take a look at George, when he reflects on what he and Lennie will have, he is expressing the possibility of the American dream:

Well,' said George, 'we'll have a big vegetable patch and a rabbit hutch and chickens. And when it rains in the winter, we'll just say the hell with goin' to work, and we'll build up a fire in the stove and set around it an' listen to the rain comin' down on the roof...'

Given that George and Lennie have a lived a poor live and migrant farm workers, these commodities and comforts will mean a great deal to them.

Think about Lennie's "catch phrase", Crooks's conversation with Lennie in the barn, and you should be on the right track.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I'll start you off with one quote from chapter one from Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.  On page 15 in my edition George retells Lennie about the house, etc., that they will one day have:

"O.K.  Someday--we're gonna get the jack together and we're gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an' a cow and some pigs and--"

"An' live off the fatta the lan'," Lennie shouted.  "An' have rabbits.  Go on, George!  Tell about what we're gonna have in the garden and about the rabbits in the cages and about the rain in the winter and the stove, and how thick the cream is on the milk like you can hardly cut it.  Tell about that, George."

 This introduces the constant theme in the novel of workers dreaming of owning their own places.  Notably, the workers, including Lennie and George here, do not dream of being millionaires or anything so grandiose.  They simply dream of owning a little land and a little place and of being their own bosses. 

George will describe this dream to Lennie repeatedly in the novel, Lennie will tell it to others, even when he's not supposed to, and Crooks and Candy will want to join in.  The American Dream, or the illusion of it, is central to the work. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial