Using the novel Of Mice and Men, answer the question below in ACE-IT format (Assertion [claim or argument], Citation, Explication, Interpretation, Termination): How did their dreams and aspirations positively affect their lives or their relationships with others?

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When writing a paragraph using the ACE-IT format, you first need to come up with an Assertion. This would be the answer to the question, or what you believe to be true about the text. Next comes the Citation, which is your evidence from the text. Once you've chosen a Citation, you must provide an Explication, where you explain what is going on in the quote in your own words. After citing and explaining, you must give an Interpretation of why that Citation supports your Assertion. Termination is your concluding thoughts.

Now that we've reviewed the ACE-IT format, let's examine the question: how did their dreams or aspirations positively affect their lives or their relationships with others?

In Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, the characters have dreams that propel them. The American Dream is a major theme of the book, as the characters dream of a better life. For many of the characters, their dreams positively affect their lives because the dreams are driving forces that propel them to work harder in order to achieve their dreams. For George, Lennie, and Candy, their shared dream helps them grow closer and work together.

George dreams of owning his own farm so he can "live off the fatta the lan'." He shares this dream with Lennie, who is able to recite parts of it from memory. Lennie wants to raise rabbits, and although he has trouble focusing, he tries to listen to George and follow directions so that the two of them can achieve this dream. George and Lennie's relationship is reflected in their shared retelling of the dream:

George went on. “With us it ain’t like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us. We don’t have to sit-in no bar room blowin’ in our jack jus’ because we got no place else to go. If them other guys gets in jail they can rot for all anybody gives a damn. But not us.”

Lennie broke in. “But not us! An’ why? Because...because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that’s why.” He laughed delightedly. “Go on now, George!”

“You got it by heart. You can do it yourself.”

“No, you. I forget some a’ the things. Tell about how it’s gonna be.”

“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!

George and Lennie meet the old, disabled ranch hand Candy on the ranch they start to work at. When Candy's old dog is shot, Candy realizes that soon he will stop being useful on the farm as well. His desire for security propels him to join up with George and Lennie. He offers up his saved money so they can all buy the farm together. Without the dream, Candy would have no reason to join them.

Candy said, “I ain’t much good with on’y one hand. I lost my hand right here on this ranch. That’s why they give me a job swampin’. An’ they give me two hunderd an’ fifty dollars ‘cause I los’ my hand. An’ I got fifty more saved upright in the bank, right now. Tha’s three hunderd, and I got fifty more comin’ the end a the month. Tell you what—” He leaned forward eagerly. “S’pose I went in with you guys. Tha’s three hunderd an’ fifty bucks I’d put in. I ain’t much good, but I could cook and tend the chickens and hoe the garden some. How’d that be?”

George half-closed his eyes. “I gotta think about that. We was always gonna do it by ourselves.”

Candy interrupted him, “I’d make a will an’ leave my share to you guys incase I kick off, ‘cause I ain’t got no relatives nor nothing. You guys got any money? Maybe we could do her right now?”

George spat on the floor disgustedly. “We got ten bucks between us.” Then he said thoughtfully, “Look, if me an’ Lennie work a month an’ don’t spen’ nothing, we’ll have a hunderd bucks. That’d be four fifty. I bet we could swing her for that. Then you an’ Lennie could go get her started an’ I’d get a job an’ make up the res’, an’ you could sell eggs an’ stuff like that.”

They fell into a silence. They looked at one another, amazed. This thing they had never really believed in was coming true. George said reverently, “Jesus Christ! I bet we could swing her.” His eyes were full of wonder. “I bet we could swing her,” he repeated softly.

Their shared dream encourages them to work hard for another month in order to save up the money they need. Their shared dream brings them together.

There are many quotes in the text that could serve as evidence for your assertion about how the characters' dreams affect their lives and relationships. Since you will be the one explicating and interpreting the citation, you should choose a quote that speaks to you.

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Although the ranch hands' dreams are ultimately not realized, for much of the novel it seems like things might turn out well for them. George and Lennie arrive at the ranch already sharing the dream of owning a small farm.

A: Candy's life improves as he becomes friends with George and Lennie through sharing their dream of owning a farm. C: The three men discuss this plan, including Candy’s financial contribution, in chapter three. E: They continue to discuss the plans in chapter four. I: Candy has grown old alone, except for his dog, in the semi-nomadic life of a ranch hand. He wants to settle down and have both security and friends in his old age, and he is happy to put his life savings to good use. T: The entire plan collapses after Lennie kills Curley's wife and George kills Curley. The reader does not know if Candy will remain friends with George.

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