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Background The 1930's In The USA.

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Introduction

In the 1920's/1930's a lot of Americans got the idea that investing in shares was a safe way of making money, but many didn't know the risks that could occur when buying shares, and on the 4 October 1929 America suffered from the 'Wall Street Crash.' This meant that billions of dollars were lost due to the stock markets crashing and the prices of shares dramatically falling, the 'Wall Street Crash' left countless numbers of American citizens with no life savings and on the edge of bankruptcy. It also caused many companies and businesses to go bust or close down, and consequently left many workers unemployed and broke. This mass of unemployment resulted in many people moving from the big cities out to the countryside to find work on farms as itinerant workers. These itinerant workers were most often men who were sacked due to the Wall Street crash, and a lot of the time found themselves alone and lonely. Itinerant workers had to keep moving from farm to farm and therefore could never make any long time friends, many had no home to go back to or even any family to contact. ...read more.

Middle

The farmers also cut down field barriers so bigger more efficient machinery could be used, but this also helped to destroy and dry out the top part of the soil and also left it vulnerable to strong winds. These farming techniques particularly effected the south-west of the USA as they had seasonal bad weather which usually posed a problem but what they didn't know was there was going to be exception bad weather. And due to the weather and poor farming methods, the fast and strong winds which the bad weather brought were able to race across fields upon fields and whip up the dry top soil creating big clouds of 'dust'. This ecological disaster was named the 'Dustbowl' and it whipped up dust that landed in other states to where it originated from, and left farms and homes under dust which left many people no choice than to just pack up anything they could and leave. A lot of these itinerant workers migrated to California which is known as 'the golden state' where dreams come true and is also the home of Hollywood 'the dream factory' but mainly because it was away from the dust bowl and the because the farms in California were known for having rich fertile land. ...read more.

Conclusion

We know this as John Steinbeck has worked on farms himself as an itinerant worker and therefore has an idea of the loneliness and the continuous search for friendship and somewhere to settle down that all itinerant workers had. This dream that all itinerant worker had of settling down is shown in the book by all the worker but especially George and Lennie for they have a dream of owning a place of their own. John Steinbeck also got ideas for the book from past events such as when he saw a large man kill a pet rabbit and when he saw one of his bosses killed by a disturbed man. He writes about the migrants to California and how the itinerant workers are needy and desperate and will work for a small wage. In a way the characters of George and Lennie are microcosms of what was happening to the USA in the 1930's, as they suffered from the 'Wall street crash' and are itinerant work that have migrated to California. John Steinbecks title 'Of mice And Men' is taken from a poem written by an 18th century Scottish poet, and the novel was first published in 1936 and followed shortly after by the stage play. Mark Andrews ...read more.

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