• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Choose two characters from the novel 'Of Mice and Men' who illustrate what life was like in America in the 1930's

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Choose two characters from the novel 'Of Mice and Men' who illustrate what life was like in America in the 1930's Laura Pottle. 1st draft America in the 1930's was a class-based society where women had no choice. The Wall Street Crash in 1929 meant the 'Great Depression' was occurring, people living in poverty because of this but most would travel round to find work. Racism was still a critical problem in this time so this was affecting many lives, only white people could get a decent job, if a black person could it would be living in the same conditions as slaves, even though slavery was abolished in 1865- over 60 years before. Crooks is the stable buck and is black, he is a clever but lonely man who just wants some companionship. Curley's wife is seen as a 'tart', we see that she is also lonely and very misunderstood. In the novel, even though Steinbeck had made the characters an isolated group, they all represent different sides of the society, this allows him to criticise what he sees as problems. Slavery started in America in the 15th century, thousands of slaves arrived looking for a better way of life than what they had left, but infact their 'new lives' were worse. ...read more.

Middle

However even saying this he is still tempted to join the dream, he wants to be around people and is happy when people talk to him. He says 'I didn't mean it. Jus' foolin'. I wouldn't want to go no place like that.' He knows he has to support black people and that it wouldn't happen. Through the character of crooks we see that Steinbeck thought that Crooks' was treated badly and that he obviously felt sympathy for him and all black people in America. We see examples of Crooks being afraid of all people, including Curley's wife, in a time where women weren't listened to, Steinbeck puts the message across that he shouldn't have to pull back and have to live in fear, worrying about what is going to happen to him and who by. If Crooks had been white he wouldn't be treated in the way he was. Curley's wife is another character that is seen as by the men on the ranch as insignificant, like Crooks. There are many similarities between the two; they are outcast, misunderstood, and oppressed. Neither are treated as equals and are trapped in the same life with no future. ...read more.

Conclusion

She was very pretty and simple, and her face was sweet and young.' This is saying that she is now at peace and in a way because her life was such a disaster in which she had no future she is better off dead. It was the only way she could be happy and escape Curley and her loneliness. The 1930s was a class- based society within America. Racism was an ongoing problem and black people were still being treated as slaves, even though slavery was abolished in 1865. The 'great depression' was also still a huge problem with 3 million people unemployed in 1930 and 13 million in 1932. People were living in poverty and any jobs going were poorly paid. However life was worst for black people, who were victims of racial prejudice and discrimination and women who were seen as insignificant and 'possessions' of their husbands or fathers and were only there to look 'purty' and look after the house. In the novel, even though Steinbeck had made the characters an isolated group, they all represent different sides of the society, this allows him to criticise what he sees as problems. Curley's wife and Crooks are just two characters that illustrate what life was like in America in the 1930's. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Steinbeck section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE John Steinbeck essays

  1. How is the theme of power presented in the novel? The novel "Of ...

    Without George, Lennie does not understand what to do, because he has no mental strength.

  2. Prejudice Within The Novel Of Mice And Men.

    The two main characters that are involved in this form of prejudice are Lennie and Candy. Crooks' is also prejudiced against but that is mainly because of his race rather than his physical disability. Lennie who has a mental disability is widely prejudiced against throughout the novel.

  1. Of Mice and Men. How does the Soledad ranch represent 1930s America?

    The workers didn't have friends or family around them so they turned to other things to keep them company and entertained. Steinbeck states this clearly when he writes "I had him since he was a pup." This illustrates the love that candy has for his dog to have kept him all these years.

  2. 'How does the novel Of Mice And Men reflect life in the 1930s'

    who wanted total segregation and destruction of other races. They referred to blacks as niggers and would hang them for anything and sometimes nothing. Crooks knew to stay out of the way and to be careful. He is called crooks because of his crooked back, he has this disability because he was kicked in the back by a horse.

  1. Explore John Steinbeck's presentation in Of Mice and Men of the culture and experience ...

    Near one of the walls on the bunk house was a 'black cast-iron stove', in those times men did not cook, it was degrading. The workers' having to cook for themselves is not as bad as having to clean for the rest of the ranch, especially if you were a man.

  2. Saving Private Ryan

    Then you hear Sergeant Horvath say "That's quite a view" then Miller repeats his words. It then goes into Miller's eyes and he sees all the men's bodies washed up on the sea. The water is red there are objects everywhere.

  1. A constant dreamer

    He pushed one of these open for me to enter, and without coming in himself, closed it after me. Then I knew that my conjecture had been right: there was something awful in the room, and with the terror of nightmare growing swiftly and enveloping me, I awoke in a spasm of terror.

  2. What does the novel 'Of mice and men' tell you about the way of ...

    He said patiently, "I like 'em with ketchup." "Well we ain't got any," George exploded. This shows despite their friendship they are still vulnerable to worthless arguments that are unnecessary but still happen because they are under great pressure caused by the depression. This further emphasises the fact that they are labourers.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work