Analysis Of John Steinbeck 's ' Of Mice And Men '

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In all of his works, John Steinbeck focuses on the hardships of economically and socially challenged communities. He wrote around the Great Depression era of the 1930s, which would influence the situations of all of the characters he creates. He uses settings which are close in proximity to where he was born, the town of Salinas, California. Of Mice and Men, one of Steinbeck’s most well-known works, is set in Soledad, a small town in a valley adjacent to the Salinas River. Another one of his works, Cannery Row, takes place on Monterey Bay just west of the town of Salinas. Steinbeck’s portrayal of the struggles of the characters he creates are so realistic because of his true experiences. For example, Doc in Cannery Row is based on his lifelong friend Ed Ricketts, and the ranch he describes in Of Mice and Men is based off of one owned by Speckrels Sugar where he worked when he was younger. Steinbeck uses setting to critique society during the Great Depression. Though one novel is set in a coastal community and the other rural, their outcomes are extremely similar. The characters in each novel find it difficult to gain a job and keep one while living in poor conditions. No character turns out successful and instead fail to fulfill any dream they may have, such as Lennie’s dream of owning a farm with George and being able to own and care for rabbits. The West was seen by lower class farmers as opportunity and a new beginning throughout the late nineteenth and twentieth
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