Of Mice And Men The Great Depression Essay

The Great Depression's Effect On American People Depicted In Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

‘Of Mice and Men’ was written by John Steinbeck and published in 1937. The story is based on migrant workers in California during the time of the Great Depression. The Great Depression was caused by the Wall Street Crash in America which effected many business and banks many of which became bankrupt. This resulted in mass unemployment, inflation and economic migration from the city to the countryside. Steinbeck wrote this novel to show what life was like for low-paid, poor workers and to show how the Great Depression effected American people. He represents what life was like for many unprivileged people in 1930s America: migrant workers, women and black Americans.
Firstly, John Steinbeck represents the lives of migrant workers in his novel, ‘Of Mice and Men’. The lives of migrant workers were hard, challenging and unrewarding. Migrant workers suffered from poverty because they were low-wage workers performing manual labour in the agricultural field. They were forced to travel between American states in search of seasonal work .In the novel, John Steinbeck shows the harsh realities of life of poor, unskilled workers who were displaced by the Great Depression. In chapter one, Steinbeck introduces us to the main two characters George and Lennie who are travelling to the Soledad ranch in California in search of work. Steinbeck describes them: “both were dressed in denim trouser and in denim coats with brass buttons. Both wore black, shapeless hats and both carried tight blanket rolls slung over their shoulder”. George and Lennie are deliberately...

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Essay about Social Conditions in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

1279 Words6 Pages

Social Conditions in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

"Of Mice and Men" is set in California, America in the 1930's. As a result of the First World War and the Wall Street Crash of the late 1920's, America had been propelled into a state of Economic Depression. John Steinbeck successfully shows the impact the change in economy had on people's lives, through the various characters in the novel "Of Mice and Men" and especially the lives of George and Lennie.

The Great Depression altered the existence of the majority of the working population of America. Many men would travel long distances to obtain work, and John Steinbeck illustrates this through the characters of George and Lennie. George and…show more content…

However, George does have Lennie, a companion and through all the burdens that George gains from Lennie, he appreciates his company.

George and Lennie share a dream that infects others with its idealistic setting and self-sufficiency. Their dream of a small farm and living off the "fatta the lan'" calms Lennie in times when he is unsure. Lennie also needs constant reassurance that he will be able to tend the rabbits "when" they save enough money to buy their farm. Candy is old and vulnerable and George and Lennie's dream inspires him to keep dreaming and he asks to join their quest to own something more secure. George hesitates before allowing Candy to join them as their dream has been a sacred secret to George and Lennie, but he liked Candy sufficiently to want him to join the dream as well.

The impact of life in 1930's America required a dream to install the idea of hope in people's lives. Life without a dream for Candy would lead him to a life of worry and lack of security, as he is old and a cripple, when he can no longer perform his job properly it is likely he will have nowhere to go. "They'll can me purty soon" is how John Steinbeck briefly illustrates through the character of Candy, that the Boss can fire Candy easily,

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