Of Mice and Men
When Of Mice and Men was published in 1937, the United States was in the grip of Great Depression. John Steinbeck, the author, saw firsthand the economic and social problems of the Great Depression in California. This provided material for three of his novels about agricultural workers. By the time he wrote Of Mice and Men, the industrial revolution was providing machines to replace ranch hands and there way of life was fast disappearing. Poverty and depression seem to hang over the lives of Steinbeck's characters. He constantly writes about the sad predicaments this time of the century had and the chase to get out.
Of Mice and Men is a dark story of two men journeying through a nation full of brutal, inhumane experiences. The obstacles presented seem to remove their dreams from the picture and happiness for them seems all but doomed. When the novel begins we are treated to the scene of "the strong and rocky Gabilan Mountains" pg. 1 that gives a jejune mood. George Milton and Lennie Small are two ranch hands in search of the American Dream. The American Dream is a phrase referring to the freedom that allows all citizens the opportunities to pursue their goals and the opportunities to succeed through hard work. George and Lennie's American Dream is to "have a big vegetable patch and a rabbit hutch and chickens."pg. 14. This idea doesn't seem so grand in today's times but to Lennie especially it was all he ever wanted.
The Great Depression was a economic recession starting in 1929 and ending in the late 1930s. The depression had devastating effects in virtually all parts of the states and the world. Personal income plunged by almost two thirds. This downturn drove people across the country and in particular the characters in the novel to tweak there American Dreams to something more plausible during the economic conditions. George and Lennie are constantly jumping from town to town to find work to fund their dream but because of the effects of...
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4. Sardar, Ziauddin, and Francess Stonor Saundress.."of mice and men," New Statesman 129.4517 (18 Dec.200): 48. Literary Reference Center. EBSCO, Bossier City, La.
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