In Of Mice and Men, how does Steinbeck show dreams and the American Dream in chapters 1-2?

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In both chapters, George and Lennie dream of owning their own home, a key component of the American dream. This dream of living on their own small farm encompasses achieving autonomy, dignity, independence and sense of roots, all the opposite of their wandering, insecure life as migrant workers, at the...

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In both chapters, George and Lennie dream of owning their own home, a key component of the American dream. This dream of living on their own small farm encompasses achieving autonomy, dignity, independence and sense of roots, all the opposite of their wandering, insecure life as migrant workers, at the mercy of the whims of their employers. In chapter 1, George paints for Lennie a picture of the place they dream of owning:

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 ...

In chapter 2, George again paints a vivid picture of the life he and Lennie will lead on their own land. Candy, a ranch hand in their bunkhouse, sad because his old dog has just been shot, overhears and asks to be part of it, offering to put in his savings. He explains that because he's been injured and lost a hand, he expects to be fired soon, but that he has the $250 the ranch gave him to compensate for losing the hand. For him, the farm Lennie and George dream of is a place where he could retire with dignity, and help with the hoeing and cooking and chickens. A home, some independence, a dignified retirement: these are the dreams and American Dream of these three men.

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