Life of Americans in the 1930's in John Stienbeck's of Mice and Men/Original Writing

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Life of Americans in the 1930's in John Stienbeck's of Mice and Men/Original Writing

What does John Stienbeck's Of Mice and Men tell us about life in America in the 1930s?

John Steinbeck's novels can all be classified as social novels dealing with the economic problems of rural labour in America during the 1920s and 30s. Steinbeck uses setting, theme, characterisation, and a modernist simple style to portray a 1930s American society, which was isolating, alienating and prejudiced

His frequent topics were the plight of the misfits, (the character of Lennie in the novel) the homeless and the migrant farm workers. The countryside described in the opening chapter of the novel and the ranch
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Candy an old farm worker joins in their dream when he offers his savings as down payment in return for being included. "S'pose I went in with you guys. Tha's three hundred an fifty bucks id put in." The emotive story line of the "dream" with each character starting to believe it may just happen is all the more tragic as it is bound to fail. We learn early on in the novel that something bad happened in Weed and that they had to leave. "An' you ain't gonna do no bad things like you did in Weed, neither." (George tells Lennie.) Steinbeck therefore has already set the scene for us to start doubting that their dream will be achieved, to question: will Lennie get them into trouble again? Steinbeck has set the wheels in motion for us to assume that however hard they try it is bound to fail one way or another. The moment Curly's wife enters the barn we know something bad is going to happen. Steinbeck has interwoven the idea from the very beginning of the novel. The dead mouse Lennie had in his pocket, the death of Candy's dog, and the accidental killing of the puppy. All these incidents pre-figure the tragedy in the climax of the novel. Lennie, childlike and "As strong as a bull," will ultimately be the reason their dream will fail

Steinbeck makes us aware of the prejudice

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