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Of Mice and Men Intro
Transcript of Of Mice and Men Intro
during era known as
The Great Depression John Steinbeck Born in Salinas,California Worked as a ranch hand when he was young The Great Depression An economic depression that affected the
entire world starting in 1928 Began in the United States with the
Stock Market Crash in October 1929... This day was known as Black Tuesday The stock market crash was sudden... Some investors in New York City were
so depressed by the crash that they killed
themselves by jumping off tall buildings The crash results in many bank closings and job losses Why did the banks fail? Back in the 1920s, land and crops were worth a lot of money. Farmers were doing well. BUT... Many farmers in the 1920s took out loans from the bank to buy more land or new machinery. If the farmers couldn’t pay the money back on the loan, they agreed that the bank could take the land away in return. After the stock market crash, very few people had money to buy any land. Since no one could buy it, its value dropped. Selling land brought you almost nothing. When the banks took back farmers’ land to pay off their debt, selling the land didn’t give the bank enough money. The banks would then
take everything the farmers owned. Thousands were left homeless. There were no government relief programs to help people find food or a place to stay. Everything shut down... banks, factories, stores, farms. By 1933, almost 25% of working people had lost their jobs. For comparison, our unemployment rate now is the highest it’s been in years at 9.6%. Especially hurt by the Depression were African Americans Sometimes their jobs were taken away and given to whites By 1930, only 50% of African Americans had a job To deal, some people became very frugal, which means they...
spent very little money,
saved what they had,
reused everything they could Do you know any older people who grew up during the Depression?
Many of them are very frugal still. Migrant farm workers traveled from place to place looking for work Often they operated threshing machines to process wheat and other crops From personal experience Steinbek is able to provide vivid details about the setting of California and the experiences of farm workers. Migrant Farm Workers Earned $2-3 a day, plus food and shelter Many of them came from the Midwest, which had been devastated by the Dust Bowl The Dust Bowl was... A series of dust storms that brought a drought Too much plowing led to soil erosion (the top soil is blown or worn away from the earth) During The Dust Bowl... Nothing could grow. There was no food. The dust from the storms covered everything. Thousands of people in Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Colorado left their homes and farms as a result. The migration (movement) of people was so big that 15% of the state of Oklahoma moved to California. This is why migrants were called Okies. Steinbeck felt sorry for migrant farm workers He wrote this novel to tell the story of two imaginary farm workers who go to Salinas, CA for work. The men have only a few belongings, which they carry in a bindle, or bedroll. They complain that they have no jack, which is slang for money.