In Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, is George and Lennie's dream realistic?

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mizzwillie's profile pic

mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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In John Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men, George and Lennie's dream of owning their own place is not realistic, but a wishful hope for the future. The drifters who roamed from place to place were homeless, worked in poverty, and were part of the lower class. Neither planners nor savers., they received little pay for their work as mostly they earned a place to sleep, food and a small wage.  George and Lennie had saved some money, but had not done any real planning except dreaming about what the place would look like and how they would love their own land. Their friendship which was genuine, was not enough to overcome the immense obstacles of creating a plan, finding the land, having enough money to actually purchase the land, and find a way for Lennie's retardation to not be a complete obstacle to land ownership.  They could hope, but their dream was unrealistic.  Steinbeck used this novel to illustrate that the lower class had tremendous problems just surviving, and that the middle class was not alone in its economic troubles.  

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gmuss25's profile pic

gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

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In my opinion, George and Lennie's dream of one day owning their own piece of property and living off the land is unrealistic. As was mentioned in the previous post, George and Lennie's dream is simply wishful thinking. They imagine having their own house and creating a self-sufficient homestead where they raise animals and plant vegetables. Despite possibly having enough money with Candy's contribution to buy a run-down home, George and Lennie's dream is still unrealistic. They would still struggle to earn enough money to survive the economic crisis and maintain their home. Making enough money selling vegetables to feed three grown men seems highly unrealistic. Also, George and Lennie's past is more than likely to affect them. The incident in Weed would probably come back to haunt them after they bought the home. Lennie is also bound to do something stupid that will once again get them into trouble with the authorities. George and Lennie are not destined to attain their dream, and it is simply imaginative thinking that helps them get through their rough lives. 

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