Of Mice and Men, American Beauty
Through the relative research study of “Of Mice and Guy” composed by John Steinbeck in 1937 and “American Appeal” directed by Sam Mendes in 1999, it appears that the principle of the American Dream is classic and enduring. Mendes and Steinbeck use language techniques such as remarkable foreshadowing and filmic techniques to define the American Dream’s spiritual and materialistic elements. However, from the context of the Great Depression explored in “Of Mice and Men” to the economic boom of 1999 which provides the backdrop to “American Appeal”, society has actually significantly developed.
For this reason, as the context changes, so does our understanding of the American Dream and its viewed values. “Of Mice and Men” is set throughout the Great Depression when people were frantically searching for tasks, food and accommodation. Government propaganda at the time convinced people that their effort would be rewarded. This ended up being the driving force behind the majority of employees who struggled to put food on the table, thinking their hard work would settle.
However, as a survivor of the Great Anxiety, Steinbeck realised the weak points behind the propaganda; that not everything in life goes according to plan and he explores this weak point in his novella. In contrast, in “American Beauty” the quality of life has actually increased considerably as apparent in the Burnham household. Their white house, blue windows and intense red door is an intentional usage of the colours of the American flag to symbolise that they have actually achieved the dream that was so demanded during the Great Depression.
It is clear then that in light of the concept of the American Dream, each composer’s context has actually altered. During the Anxiety, hope offered people motivation to work towards a purpose and they were content with what they currently have. Now, monetary prosperity and security has actually altered the dreams of the Depression to be considered granted and are no longer adequate to satisfy individuals. Driven by the greed of others, the American Dream has actually lost its spiritual function, decreased to a mere pursuit of materialistic items and instant gratification.
In both texts, the protagonists blindly think that obtaining a house and financial independence will approve them happiness without realising the fragility of their dreams. In “Of Mice and Male”, the American Dream was actually a miracle throughout a time where cash and work was limited. With “I barely never ever seen two people travel together … Never seem to give a damn about nobody. “, Slim sums up the nature of individuals at the time, they were only wolves and the dream was an impossible job to accomplish alone.
However, the bond in between Lennie and George gives the audience hope through making use of encouraging descriptions such as “We got a future. We’ll have a huge veggie spot and a rabbit-hutch and chickens.” However, this all comes dropping when they meet Curley’s spouse. She recounted her imagine “Coulda remained in the motion pictures, an’ had great clothes … coulda sat in them big hotels, an’ had pitchers took of me.” Repetition of the word “coulda” provided the reader a sense of what might’ve been if her dreams came true however rather her marriage has become lifeless.
Curley’s spouse revealed that the American Dream apart from its appeal and hopes, was too delicate for reality during the Great Depression. Similarly, the fragility of the American Dream is also shown by the death of the pursuer in “American Charm”. Lester Burnham has actually already acquired Lennie and George’s dream, yet he is perhaps even further from joy than they were, since Lennie and George were drawn together by solitude for a common function and had each other’s companionship whereas Lester is completely alone.
To compensate, Lester pathetically attempts to discover in Angela the youth he has actually lost, committed to the pursuit of wealth. When he dreams about Angela, the increased petals representing his desire and the abrupt modification of music signal the audience of Lester’s disassociations from reality and the nature of his dreams. Also, Lester’s wife Carolyn draws resemblance to Curley’s Partner; they are both lonely as an outcome of overzealously pursuing their own dream.
Carolyn’s fascination with financial success has actually damaged her relationship with her household and her personal viewpoint that “you can not trust anybody however yourself” reveals that deep down she is very lonely and creates a facade to hide it and continue her fixation with material gains. This appears in the scene when she weeps after failing to sell your home, the close up shot of her face exposes that beneath her exterior there is a spiritual space that make up can not conceal. She has traded her spiritual and psychological wellbeing for the instant gratification of money and success. Her characterisation leads the udience to question what is really crucial in life, household or money. Both texts reveal the pricey price tag that comes with self-centered and impractical dreams. However, the American Dream was not intended to lead people into an endless cycle of greed however to inspire people both materialistically and spiritually. In “Of Mice and Men”, the simple possibility of owning a house is enough to draw individuals together. Although their dream was impossible from the start, it provided hope and an effective motivation for success. This is evident when George states “We got a future. We got someone to speak to that provides a damn about us. The repetition of inclusive words like “we” shows the reader that since they had each other’s friendship they were, despite their financial concerns, happy however. This was the intended spiritual aspect of the American Dream and although a lot of had actually stopped working, their efforts were vital to the resurgence of America as a dominant country. On the other hand, in “American Charm” the American Dream has actually deteriorated as soon as America became a wealth country. Its spiritual element vanished due to the fact that of the relative ease of acquiring wealth in contrast to the Great Depression of “Of Mice and Male”.
As an outcome individuals have forgotten the difficulty that others before them were required to endure. Unlike George and Lennie, people no longer value the concept of working together to overcome barriers however instead are driven by their own self-centered desires. Carolyn is the best example of this is when she says “This is a $4,000 sofa, upholstered in Italian silk. It is not simply a couch.” Her glorification of a lifeless couch shows the audience that to her, the effort used to get it has actually become more vital to her than her family.
While Mendes satirises modern materialism, he also leads the audience to reflect upon their own lives and whether they are being managed by money and greed. In conclusion, both texts explore the universal concept of the American Imagine health and success as a pursuit of happiness. Nevertheless, it is their difference in context that is essential as it specifies its individual significance and contributes most to our understanding of the American Dream. The Dream itself remains universal but its values will alter significantly depending on context.