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Copy of Of Mice and Men Introduction

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Kristen Howe

on 15 March 2015

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Transcript of Copy of Of Mice and Men Introduction

* Began with the 1929 Stock Market Crash

* Resulted in high unemployment and widespread poverty

*Racial tensions increased
Background
Information

written by
John Steinbeck
- American writer and Pulitzer Prize winner
- author of
The Grapes of Wrath
and
East of Eden
- won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962

Steinbeck worked with migrant workers
during the Great Depression.
The 1930s
Great Depression
F.D.R. instituted "New Deal" as Recovery Plan
"We have nothing to fear but fear itself."
The Dust Bowl
- Dust storms led to agricultural devastation.
- These storms were caused by drought
and lack of crop rotation.
- Plowing killed grass, so soil blew across
the country to the Atlantic.
Without land and crops, many people
became migrant workers. They traveled from farm to farm earning scarce wages.
It is the story of two
migrant workers,
George Milton and
Lennie Small,
in the 1930s.
Of Mice and Men
is listed
on the "Most Challenged Books of the 21st Century"
due to vulgar, offensive,
and racist language.
Of Mice and Men
is based on Steinbeck's personal experiences as a bindlestiff in the 1920s.
Characters in the novel survive on
the hopes of the "American Dream."
Lennie is intellectually disabled. This brings up many ethical questions throughout the novel.
migrant workers:
any people working outside of their place of origin
Came after WWI

* ideas of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American

* a life of personal happiness and material comfort as traditionally sought by individuals in the U.S.

* life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
What is the American Dream?
Themes in
Of Mice and Men
- the predatory nature of humans
- the value of true friendship
- the impossibility of the American Dream

The following words are spoken by Crooks,
the black stable hand in the novel who
lives by himself because he is not allowed
in the bunkhouse due to his race:

“A guy needs somebody--to be near him....
A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. Don't make no difference who the guy is, long's he's with you....
I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick.”
Women

* The book presents a lack of respect for women

* Portrays women in a negative way
Of Mice and Men
Background Information
"Crooks' loneliness in the novel is part
of Steinbeck's microcosm of the world.
Multiply Crooks a million times,
and Steinbeck is pointing out the barriers
and artificial obstacles people and society
build against each other."
Full transcript