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b. Kobe Bryant
c. Barack Obama
e. Rowling (Harry Potter)
Is the American Dream possible for everyone? Does everyone in America have an equal chance to be successful and achieve their personal goals? Many people believe that the American Dream is not available to everyone – that it is just a DREAM Obstacles to the American Dream? Race, economic class, ethnicity, religion
Examples of those who HAVE NOT attained their American Dream? The American Dream can A) motivate people to achieve their goals and/or b) frustrate people when they see that some people have achieved their goals while they still have not The American Dream is the focal point of many American novels/plays: A Raisin in the Sun, The Great Gatsby, Death of a Salesman, and Of Mice and Men OF MICE AND MEN Written by John Steinbeck, who was born in 1902 in Salinas, California, which is also the setting of the novel The setting of Of Mice and Men is called an integral setting because the time and place are essential to the story – the story would not be possible if it were set somewhere else Of Mice and Men takes place on a farm during the Great Depression era in the United States, when the American Dream seemed more of a fantasy/dream than a reality Why did the American Dream seem like a fantasy during the Great Depression? Of Mice and Men tells the story of two migrant farmers, George Milton and Lennie Smalls, who move to a new ranch in order to make money to buy their own property Through these two characters, Steinbeck illustrates how challenging and often unrewarding the life of migrant farmers could be The book also discusses the difficulty of achieving one’s American Dream, whatever the dream might be Some historical background to the novel… THE DUST BOWL THE GREAT DEPRESSION Remember: Of Mice and Men takes place during the Great Depression The Great Depression was a significant cause of the creation of the Dust Bowl: The Great Depression lasted from 1929-1940s and ended with the beginning of WWII The depression originated in the United States, starting with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929 (known as Black Tuesday), but quickly spread to almost every country in the world During the Great Depression, the unemployment rate rose to about 25% Between 1929 and 1932 the income of the average American family was reduced by 40%, from $2,300 to $1,500. The Great Depression impacted Americans’ lifestyles and attitudes: feelings of optimism and security disappeared People expressed feelings of despair, frustration, and hopelessness “The best laid plans of mice and men often go askew.” 5 words: American Dream, Of Mice and Men, the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, fantasy versus reality Related posts:
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Of Mice and Men (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series)