Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men By John Steinbec k John Born February 27 in 1902 in Steinbeck Salinas, California th During

his childhood, Steinbeck learned to appreciate his surroundings, and loved the Salinas countryside and the nearby Pacific Ocean; it would be this appreciation that would later come out in his writing. Steinbeck worked during his summers as a hired hand in nearby ranches. John Steinbeck Of

Mice and Men stemmed from his experience working among migrant workers. Steinbecks experiences in the fields researching migrant workers led him to have more compassion for these workers, and stirred up his concern for social justice. Of Mice and Men In May 1936, he wrote a

manuscript of Of Mice and Men, but his puppy (a setter called Toby) ate it, and he had Title The title of the novel comes from a poem, To a Mouse, by the 18th century Scottish poet, Robert Burns: The best laid schemes of mice and men/Go often astray,/And leave us

nothing but grief and pain,/When joy has been promised. No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it. Structure Steinbeck told a friend that he was experimenting with a new dramatic form, so his book is written with the intention of it becoming a play.

Steinbeck establishes a new setting (scene) for each chapter change and he gives the audience a description of this location This is why the chapters are not numbered. They simply indicate scene changes, but its all really one long 1930s The Setting

novel is set in the farmland of the Salinas valley, where John Steinbeck was born. The ranch in the novel is near Soledad, which is south-east of Salinas on the Salinas river. The countryside described at the beginning of the novel, and the ranch itself is based on Steinbecks own experiences.

The Great Depression The Great Depression began with the stock market crash on October 29, 1929, also known as Black Tuesday. The Depression had devastating effects in the US, and around the world.

People who had gone to bed with thousands of dollars in the bank woke up to discover that they only had the money in their pockets. Migrant Workers Thousands of people migrated to California during this time period for the promise of a better climate,

gold, and The American dream. Many were disappointed when no jobs were available, so migrant farming became popular men left their families, moving from one farm to another, finding short term work based on the harvest seasons. The American Dream America is the land of opportunity, and you can be successful if you

work hard and live morally. Freedom to work hard and be happy is enshrined in the Constitution. The Dream assumes equality of opportunity, no discrimination, freedom to follow goals and freedom from victimization.

Mental Health Care inforthe 1930s Problems the mentally challenged: No government programs (and few private ones) established to protect their rights. They had to rely on family and friends for survival. The Great Depression closed most organizations designed to help.

The alternative for people with intellectual disabilities would have been an insane asylum which often made things worse. Two Plot migrant workers, George and Lennie, have been let off a bus miles away from the California farm where they are due to start work. it becomes clear that Lennie has a mild mental disability, and is deeply devoted to George and dependent upon him for

protection and guidance. He and Lennie share a dream of buying their own piece of land, farming it, and, much to Lennies delight, keeping rabbits. Characters Steinbeck is known for humanizing the working class outcast or loser archetype. The have-nots, misfits, simple, poor, oppressed, racial minorities unjustly deprived of civil and economic rights.

Often hardworking and good hearted, but inclined to drink and argue. Rural heroes who are illiterate and sometimes weak, but nevertheless noble. The profanity they use contributes to their realistic depiction. George Milton George is a small, wiry, quick-witted man who travels with, and cares

for, Lennie. Although he frequently speaks of how much better his life would be without his caretaking responsibilities, George is devoted to caring for Lennie. Lennie Small Lennie is a large,

lumbering, childlike migrant worker. Due to his mild mental disability, Lennie completely depends upon George, his friend and traveling companion, for guidance and protection. Gentle and kind, Lennie nevertheless does not understand his own strength.

Candy Candy is an aging ranch handyman, Candy lost his hand in an accident and worries about his future on the ranch. Curley Curley

is the bosss son. Rumored to be a champion prizefighter, he is a confrontational, meanspirited, and aggressive young man who seeks to compensate for his small stature by picking fights with larger men. Recently married, Curley is plagued with jealous suspicions and is extremely possessive of his flirtatious young wife. Curleys Wife Curleys wife is

the only female character in the novel, Curleys wife is never given a name and is only referred to in reference to her husband. The men on the farm refer to her as a tramp, a tart, and a looloo. Crooks,

Crooks the black stable-hand, gets his name from his crooked back. Proud, bitter, and caustically funny, he is isolated from the other men because of the color of his skin. A Slim highly skilled mule driver and the acknowledged

prince of the ranch, Slim is the only character who seems to be at peace with himself. The other characters often look to Slim for advice. Themes in Of Mice Friendshipand Men The Nature of Dreams In essence, Of Mice and Men is as

much a story about the nature of human dreams and aspirations and the forces that work against them as it is the story of two men. Humans give meaning to their lives and to their futuresby creating dreams. Without dreams and goals, life is an endless stream of days that have little connection or meaning. Loneliness In addition to dreams, humans crave contact with others to give life meaning. Loneliness is present throughout this novel.

Themes in Of Mice and Men Powerlessness Powerlessness takes many forms intellectual, financial, societaland Steinbeck touches on them all. Fate Lifes unpredictable nature is another subject that defines the human condition. Just when it appears that George and Lennie will get their farm, fate steps in. My Brothers Keeper Steinbeck makes the reader wonder

whether mankind should go alone in the world or be responsible and helpful to others who are less fortunate. Nature Steinbeck uses nature images to reinforce his themes and to set the mood. The Fields of Salinas, California The Beauty of Salinas

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