Was John Steinbeck successful in celebrating the honesty, courage, and dreams of ordinary people?

Essay by AfroHavocHigh School, 10th grade May 2006

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John Steinbeck was, for the most part, successful in celebrating the honesty, courage, and dreams of ordinary people, even though I don't particularly agree with the honesty part. He shows the values of courage and dreams in his characters, but his characters aren't necessarily honest. In fact, a few of the key characters lied about a lot of things throughout the book. They may not be big things but they are lies nonetheless.

Steinbeck was very successful in celebrating the courage of common man when at the end of the book when George had the courage to kill Lennie, and give up his dream and his best friend. He loved Lennie and yet he had the heart to kill him and save him from the inevitable torture that Curly would have put him through. You could tell that George really didn't want to kill him because his hand was trembling and he had to put the gun down and really try hard to pull through.

"The hand shook violently, but his face set and his hand steadied." (Pg. 106) Also he really wanted the house, his own land and the freedom of it all and he knew that if he killed Lennie then that would not happen, and it takes a strong man to give up his dream. Another example of courage in this book is when George stands up to Curly when he first meets him. Curly sizes him up and acts like he is tough and wants to fight and George stands right up with him and doesn't budge.

Steinbeck was also successful in celebrating the dreams of common man when Candy, Lennie, George, and even Crooks dream about owning their own land. Lennie and George have had this dream for a very long time, to "live of...