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Consider how the social and economic problems of the era contribute to the theme of loneliness in the novel?

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Introduction

Consider how the social and economic problems of the era contribute to the theme of loneliness in the novel? The novel 'Of Mice and Men' is set in the 1930's in America. During this period in America, the events of the Wall Street Crash had plunged America into serious social and economic problems. These problems created an itinerant and migrant lifestyle for the American population and unemployment became a major dilemma for millions throughout America. Throughout this novel, Steinbeck shows us how these social and economic problems during this era contribute to loneliness and isolation amongst the characters in the novel. The author of this novel, John Steinbeck, allows his readers to understand how harsh this period was and educates them about the historical background during this time. In 1929, America plunged in to an economic crisis as a result of the events of the Wall Street Crash. Therefore, this left a serious economic problem and took America into a depression. Through history this has been known as the Great Depression. The depression created many problems, there was high unemployment and low standards of living and what was once the land of opportunity was now the land of desperation. ...read more.

Middle

A key scene that Steinbeck uses to demonstrate Crooks low status is when Crooks is talking to Curley's wife and Curley's wife finds herself in a position of power. Curley's wife is the boss's daughter in law which gives her authority but her status as a white female gives her additional power over Crooks. She abuses this power when she reminds him that she would only need to claim that he has attempted to touch her and a lynch mob would kill him without hesistation. In my opinion, Steinbeck exposes the bitterness, the anger and the helplessness of the black American who struggles to be recognized as a human being, and therefore is treated in as an animal. Also, I feel that Steinbeck is challenging his readers to consider the problems of racism and prejudice and by creating the character Crooks he is demonstrating that it is totally unjust to discriminate against these people just because they are black. Another important character in the novel is Curley's wife. In the novel Steinbeck portrays Curley's wife as very lonely and flirtatious and her character is used to represent the plight of young women during this time. During this era, women were fighting for their rights, as women were classed as inferior to the men of this time. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the novel 'Of Mice and Men' is written by Steinbeck to show how the social and economic problems of this era contribute to the emotion of loneliness in the novel. Steinbeck portrays characters in the novel in a certain light to highlight the typical and contemporary views of certain people during this harsh time. The novel is set in the 1930's which is straight after the Wall Street Crash and during the Great Depression. Steinbeck uses this novel to educate people of this time and aware them of the terrible working and living conditions during this period of great unemployment. Steinbeck portrays characters in the novel in a certain light to highlight the typical and contemporary views of certain people during this harsh time and demonstrate to us of how these attitudes were considered as the 'norm'. The character of Crooks is exploited by Steinbeck in the novel to represent the hopelessness of the Black American and Curley's wife is used in representation of the lonely inferior women of this time. However, Steinbeck illustrates to us of how rejection and loneliness that all the characters in the novel feel at some stage can be conquered. This is through companionship and George and Lennie are used in the novel t ...read more.

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