And these shelves were loaded with little articles, soap and talcum powder, razors and those Western magazines ranch men love to read and scoff at and secretly believe.

– John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men, Chapter 2. The contents of the shelves in the bunkhouse. The “little” personal items suggest the loneliness and transient life the men lead. But the magazines are suggestive of the American dream, the belief that anyone can achieve success if they work for it.