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Of Mice and Men
Transcript of Of Mice and Men
A. Early Life, Education, and Career
B. Steinbeck's other Works
A. The Great Depression; 1930s
B. Communism in America
A. George and Lennie's relationship
B. How their friendship stayed strong
V. The Unattainable American Dream
A. Hope lost in America
B. Impossible Dreams
VII. Works Cited
In the 1930s, there were several factors that influenced Steinbeck in writing
Of Mice and Men
California was facing economic problems due to the Great Depression. Farmers were struggling to find work throughout the rural country.
By BreAnna Smith Jalilah Muhammad
Of Mice and Men
Some problems in labor were the advances in farming technology. Machinery allowed five to seven men to operate at a time, which replaced what over 300 men could have done in one day.
The Midwest was experiencing a drought, and people began to migrate from rural to urban areas.
Labor Unions are peaking throughout the country gaining more membership each day.
Communism was becoming popular within America. Most agree with the concepts of communism supporting programs that aid workers with federal funding. These people also backed the improved Social Security Act and the ruling out of Prohibition.
Throughout this book you see George and Lennie's friendship stay strong no matter how hard the economic struggles had gotten. Friendship was a very important theme in Of Mice and Men.
Lennie is a naturally friendly person
George believes Lennie deserves a friend
They've both known each other for long time
They've been through a lot of hardships together and separating from each other would be unlikely.
The population of America was homeless, jobless, and most of all they were losing hope.
In the novel, George and Lennie have a dream of owning a small farm to themselves. They start small by finding work, but George does not save his money wisely. He spends it on alcohol, playing cards, and women. Then things take a turn for the worst when Lennie kills the daughter-in-law of the rancher. All hopes of owning a farm together is now lost when George has to kill Lennie himself.
Everyone has this dream of "being your own boss", the American Dream. During these times the American Dream was impossible to achieve. No one could step out and become independent because everyone was the same at this point, penniless. People are trying their hardest to claw out of the Depression. Unfortunately, their dreams come to an end as soon as it starts.
"The American Dream: Overview." Literary Themes for Students: The American Dream. Ed. Anne Marie Hacht.
Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 2007. 3-23. Literary Themes for Students. Gale Power Search. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.
"Of Mice and Men." Novels for Students. Ed. Diane Telgen. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale,
1997. 240-262. Gale Power Search. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.
John Steinbeck was born Feb. 27, 1902 in Salinas, California. He used to work as a farm worker to support himself through college. His main influence for writing was
Le Morte d'Arthur
by Sir Thomas Malory. At the time when he started writing seriously, America went through the Great Depression. Many of his books had dealt with working class issues and poverty such as
In Dubious Battle
The Grapes of Wrath.
This time period influenced Steinbeck to write his 1937 book, Of Mice and Men.
In the end, the novel
Of Mice and Men
is a perfect example of the limitations in life and society. It characterizes how that all dreams don't come true. It also reveals the feelings and experiences of being confined because of something a person could not control. During this time, citizens lived in the "land of the free", but instead were jailed to an unfortunate lifestyle. These people had to throw away whatever dream they had for the future, and had to dream of trying to make it out of their predicament. The incidents that occurred back then influenced the aspects of every American citizen. Hope was gone, dreams were lost, and trying to make life better was pointless. Trying was all anybody could do, but they couldn't achieve anything.
"John Ernst Steinbeck." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998.
Biography in Context. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.
Lennie is a mentally disabled farm worker that protects George.
George isn't mentally disabled but chooses to stick around with Lennie.
George knows Lennie is different and people will judge him.
They both look out for each other
Friendship cont. ...
Jarrett, Simon. "Classic Images: Classic Images is a new column by Simon Jarrett.
Simon will be looking at how people with learning disabilities have been portrayed in books and films over the years. He starts with John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, first published in 1937." Community Living 25.3 (2012): 25. Academic OneFile. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.
Of Mice and Men is a story about the events of two migrant workers, named George and Lennie who look for a job during the Great Depression. This book by John Steinbeck focuses on the two main characters' friendship and struggles to find and keep a job in this economy. This book recognizes the impossible "American Dream" that people strive for.
Every character in this book knows that times are hard and their dreams are far-fetched. At the end of the day, everyone knows that, based on their lives, their American Dream will never come true. It will always be what it is, a dream.
Introduction cont. ...