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Of Mice and Men historical and social context

NOTE: Some videos take quite awhile to load! Give it time, or download the Prezi before use to avoid internet issues. Inspired by Ms. Leslie's OMM prezi: http://prezi.com/hlfctdny0sxe/of-mice-and-men-social-and-historical-context/
by

Leo Portugal

on 23 April 2014

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Transcript of Of Mice and Men historical and social context

Written in 1937
It is a novella, or short novel
Set in California

The Roaring '20s
1920s America = "The Roaring Twenties"
Photo above from
The Great Gatsby
on film.
The Roaring Twenties
1920-1929
The Great Depression
1929-1940
The Dust Bowl
1933-1939
George and Lennie work together as itinerant farmers
The Mouse
The Dream
Clips from
Of Mice and Men

(1992) film adaptation
The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl combined to destroy the job market....

Thousands of people (approximately 200,000-350,000 according to Dr. Paul S. Taylor) traveled across the United States yearly looking for work.
Of Mice and Men
's main characters are also on the move, seeking work in California.
1st Impressions and Reflections
1. How would you describe George and Lennie's
relationship?
2. What is George and Lennie's dream? Do you think they will achieve that dream?
3. How have the historical events of their time impacted George and Lennie? Why do you think Steinbeck chose to write about the migrant farmers of his time?
George and Lennie traveling on
the cover of
Of Mice and Men

By seven o’clock the orchestra has arrived, no thin five-piece affair, but a whole pitful of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos, and low and high drums. The last swimmers have come in from the beach now and are dressing up-stairs; the cars from New York are parked five deep in the drive, and already the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy with primary colors, and hair shorn in strange new ways, and shawls beyond the dreams of Castile. The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other’s names.
Read the following excerpt from
The Great Gatsby
.
What words and phrases do you feel capture the
spirit and mood of the '20s?
Of Mice and Men
Historical Background
What is the difference of spirit and mood between the '20s and the '30s?
"[Steinbeck] picked up his pen to catch the moods
of the times, and the times ahead were turbulent."
Map depicting areas affected by the Dust Bowl
and the routes people traveled seeking work
"[In
Of Mice and Men
, Steinbeck created two people] who are maimed, and crippled, and needy, and lonely, in the same way all these people
pouring into California are needy, and
lonely, and desperate."
But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes
of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!
Excerpt from
Robert Burn's poem, "To a Mouse"

The book's title was inspired
by a Scottish poem
Full transcript