“Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never knew you had.” Lennie and George are very rudely treated by everyone at the ranch, except Candy, when they arrive. George is constantly scolding Lennie and feels the burden of Lennie at all times. In the end George is forced to kill Lennie, and he feels major guilt, but also freedom. The American Dream entails a perfect world where everyone is happy, and everyone is treated equally, but George and Lennie find out fast that this isn’t true, George is held back by Lennie all throughout the book, and George didn’t get to live his American Dream until he removed Lennie from the bigger picture.
The world we live in isn’t perfect, although some people have it better than others, George and Lennie are striving to be a part of the American Dream, together they are climbing the latter to a greater success, but perfection may be out of their grasp. Before George and Lennie arrive at the ranch Lennie pleads with George to repeat to him what their American Dream is. Lennie can’t get enough of the perfect world they will live in once they achieve their American Dream, and George seems just as confident as Lennie that this dream is possible…at first. “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! Tell about what we’re gonna have in the garden and about the rabbits in the cages and about the rain in the winter and the stove, and how thick the cream is on the milk like you can hardly cut it. Tell about that George.’ Lennie and George left their lives behind in Weed to further pursue their American Dream. They wish to have a perfect life, with plentiful land, and rabbits for Lennie to tend to. They arrive at the ranch in pursuit of a perfect life, but possibilities are endless when it comes to living the American Dream. Your American Dream picks you, you don’t get to pick what your future holds, or can you? What George and Lennie can’t comprehend is, life isn’t always greener on the other side, and sometimes your dreams take time and work to become reality. ‘Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don’t belong no place. They come to a ranch an’ work up a stake and then they go inta town and blow their stake, and the first thing you know they’re poundin’ their tail on some other ranch. They ain’t got nothing to look ahead to.’ As they spend their days, as lonely ranch workers, they will soon come to the realization that the American Dream isn’t all that it’s talked up to be, and their American Dream might be slightly out of their grasp.
George takes care of Lennie, and at first glance you would think George is more than thrilled to be Lennie’s authority figure, but as you dig deeper into the situation, and move further along in their journey George starts to realize something oversized and unintelligent is holding him back. George begins to understand why he hasn’t reached his American Dream at this point in his life, and he has been looking all over for the cause, moving from place to place, and job to job, when the real problem is the man he continues to take with him everywhere he adventures. The reality is George’s life would be so much easier without Lennie, but Lennie needs someone to look after him who has his best interest at heart. George is torn between a perfected and flawed life, and it will take more than guts to do what’s best for himself. “God, a’mighty, if I was alone I could live so easy. I could go get a job, an work, no trouble.” Deep down George really does care for Lennie although, Lennie causes so many issues for George. George understands that life without Lennie would be so much easier for him, but George feels obligated to take care of Lennie and assure he has someone who cares for him. Lennie is constantly doing deeds that could get him in heaps of trouble, and still George protects Lennie and makes certain that no one tries to take advantage of his innocence, but in the end Lennie’s innocence becomes too much, and George ends the burden that Lennie has placed on his shoulders and kept there for so long.
The last thing George wanted to do was take something out of his life that had been constant. Through all the ups and downs, and all the different jobs and hardships, Lennie was there. Although, he didn’t have the best of memory, he constantly reminded George of their best and most exhilarating memories together. All positives aside, Lennie had done the unthinkable, he had killed a human, committed murder, and the worst part is he couldn’t fully understand how terrible this crime was. At that moment is when George realized, he couldn’t let Lennie keep him from achieving his dreams. Lennie wouldn’t keep another person from achieving their American Dream after George was done. “’And when they were gone, Candy squatted down in the hay and watched the face of Curley’s wife. ‘Poor bastard,’ he said softly.”’ That face, of Carly’s wife, was the face of a beautiful lady, who could have been an astounding actor. She was a prime example to George that no good ever comes out of letting another human dictate the plans you have for your own future.
By the end of the book, George has fully recognized what has been standing in his way and blocking him from every angle. Before now, standing beside a lifeless Lennie, George never knew his dream was to be free of Lennie, and be able to make the decisions he wants without having to worry about another person’s well-being. Lennie was his buddy, his work partner, and the greatest listener George had ever known, and he was gone. George has found and achieved his dream, one he didn’t even know he had, and one he regrets even discovering in the depths of his heart and head. The only thing positive George could take from this journey that ended in more deaths than he could ever imagine is, Lennie could no longer rob anyone of their dreams, hopes, and aspirations, and as much as George was pained at the loss of his traveling partner, that one minuscule detail gave him the slightest bit of hope and peace. The American Dream isn’t always perfect, and sometimes your end destination, isn’t the same as the address you put in the GPS.