The novel is about dreams. There is the big American dream where poor immigrants believed America was the land of riches and dreams. The reality was often very different. There are individual dreams and there is the dream of God for each and every one of us. If God gives you a dream, pursue it and hearken to His voice.
Sometimes life intervenes and our dreams die. “He’d lost more than just his pa… he’d lost his dreams.” The loss of our loved ones may consume us, keeping us locked into a moment in time.