Racism is widespread throughout the book. Of Mice and Men tells the story of two ranchers, Lennie and George, wandering the country in search of suitable jobs during the Great Depression. George and the somewhat mentally disabled giant Lennie struggled to reach the dream of owning a farm together, after accepting a job in California. Because of this book’s vivid descriptions of life during the Great Depression and universal themes, Of Mice and Men should be taught in Antonian’s English II honors course. From reading this book students get a sense of what it was like during this time period thus giving this book a student friendly as well as teacher friendly appeal.
It clearly portrays the uncertainty and struggle associated with living during the Great Depression. Thus, both the novella and the poem explain that human dreams for a great future are subject to circumstance and fate, which most of the time collude against human success in life leaving only a trace of broken dreams, pain and misery. Steinbeck inclines to unravel the plight of two migrant workers with a dream to purchase their own land in the future, where they plan to rear rabbits and keep livestock. As reality dawns on the two men, their lifestyle proves not to be as easy as they think. George states, “Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world.
Steinbeck received inspiration, as well as the title, for his novel Of Mice and Men from a Robert Burn's poem. This poem is the underlying frame of his book. In his novel, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck champions the underdog who, though denied access to the American dream, develops his own coping mechanisms for survival. Of Mice and Men centers around the nomadic lifestyle of two Californian migrant workers; Lennie, who is mentally retarded, and George, who serves as Lennie's protector and provider. Lennie's condition seems to be a constant threat to the pair's jobs.
Most men worked for a short period of time, collected their earning and kept traveling to discover new work. It was not always like this, some men stayed at their factories and ranches for their whole life. But for two men, traveling and leaving was their only option. When I read the book Of Mice and Men I believe John Steinbeck wrote it too show how difficult it was to live during the Great Depression. Steinbeck used third-person omniscient view to narrate this story.
Of Mice and Men is a powerful depiction of life in rural California during the Great Depression. It captures the essence of the time through the experiences of the itinerant worker and their impermanent, isolated experiences (McNeill). John Steinbeck worked with the migrant workers during his teen years; he noted their dismal, disheartening existences revealed an unrelenting cynicism that stemmed from a dearth of realistic hopes and genuine prospects (McArthur). Steinbeck demonstrates the significance of dreams in Of Mice and Men as the essential foundation of motivation and purpose; the plans of hopeful conviction despite misery and destitution clarify the fundamental difference between man and beast (Lisca). Of Mice and Men is a reflection of the era indicating the most modest dreams were beset with limitations and obstacles for the working class; for indigent, the elderly, and the handicapped, the American Dream was an idealistic effort in futility (Tomkins).
It tells a story about two traveling ranch workers, George and Lennie, trying to earn enough money to buy their own ranch. As it is set in 1930s America, it provides an insight into The Great Depression, encompassing themes of racism, loneliness, prejudice against the mentally ill, and the struggle for personal independence. The book can be a parallel of what many people were going through at the time. Also it touches on how skewed the American Dream could be or if it even existed at all. There were many themes that encompassed this novel and really represented what the United States was going through at the time.
Steinbeck witnessed his home town crumble due to financial strain as a child. He felt the effects of the poor economy as his father bounced from job to job trying to make ends meet. In Steinbeck’s early adulthood he worked odd jobs with the poorest of the poor, staying in touch with the injustices these people faced everyday and witnessing how humans react in times of need. The environment that engulfed John Stein beck’s early life shaped his literary style to focus on the economic hardships of rural labor and man’s every day struggles with natural urges.
In 1938, the Chavez family lost their farm due to the Great Depression. They were forced to relocate to California and become migrant workers. Chavez was distressed by the poor treatment that migrant farmworkers endured on a daily basis. His powerful religious convictions, dedication to change, and a skill at non violent organizing cultivated the establishment of the United Farmworkers (UFW). It was also referred to as “La Causa” by supporters and eventually became a vital movement for self-determination in the lives of California's farmworkers.
Many Americans simply wanted their own plot to take and set up their lives, but the depression made this an impossibility. Steinbeck wrote about this class of people. Throughout his writing he uses many minor themes and biblical references to get his point across, but the ubiquitous theme is the story of the poor, depression era migrant worker simply trying to retain dignity, achieve the ever important American dream of owning their own plot of land, and end the depravity that is the life of a migrant worker. Characters in Steinbeck's writing always have dreams. Many of the cha... ... middle of paper ...
They travel from town to town trying to accomplish their dream of having their own land by working hard, during the harsh depression time of 1930’s America. This was known as ‘The Great Depression’. Whereas, the other novel ‘The Great Gatsby’, the central character Gatsby’s and his desire is to pretend being from the upper class, in order to win the affection of his first love. Nonetheless, in both ‘Of Mice and Men’ and ‘The Great Gatsby, the American Dream is depicted as an unachievable dream as both novels ended with the death of their main characters. In ‘Of Mice and Men’ Lennie dies in the pursuit of his American Dream with George to own a ranch.