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How does John Steinbeck portray the plight of the poor and powerless in 1930's California?

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Introduction

How does John Steinbeck portray the plight of the poor and powerless in 1930's California? John Steinbeck wrote "Of Mice and Men" in California, United States. The year which the story was written, 1936, was a really bad time for the people in the U.S.A., because that time was called the depression, a time of much unemployment and when banks and stock markets were collapsed. Steinbeck shows the bad situation of that time in a story where people worked a lot and earned little money, and men had dreams which would never come true. The title of the book reflects how living things confront problems which are superior to them, even mice, not only men. The times in America at that time were very difficult; this is shown by Steinbeck, because he talks about a ranch were low-class people work to the orders of a powerful boss. Even though they worked very hard, they get little paid, and also they have a depressing life, being lonely and discriminated sometimes. ...read more.

Middle

Candy is also a good example of a discriminated person of the 1930s. As he is old and disabled, he is treated like a useless person, which people ignore, practically not talking with him and isolating him. His opinions in the farm would not be listened to, as Curley's wife said in the middle of a discussion between her and Crooks while Candy was trying to stop her saying that "if you was to do that, I'd tell," and Curley's wife answered: "Tell an' be damned. Nobody'd listen to you, an' you know it. Nobody'd listen to you." Candy accepted this answer because he knew it was true, because, just because he is old, he is used to be discriminated. Candy had a dog which is a symbol for him, because as the dog is old, useless and stinks, the people living in the bunk house wanted to kill it, and although Candy did not want, Carlson killed it. After the dog's death, all the people in the bunk house were satisfied, and Candy was really sad, because, in a way the dog was his only friend in the ranch. ...read more.

Conclusion

A ranch with a bunch of guys in it ain't no place for a girl, specially like her." George was right, knowing that Lennie liked to touch nice things and the first time Lennie saw her, he got really fascinated and had "an admiringly smile on his face." George immediately knew that they would have problems with her. Steinbeck shows us that the "depression time" of America was a very bad time for native people. This is shown many times, because it can be seen that the thoughts of the people were practically always pessimist, never thinking in a positive way, and having impossible dreams. Steinbeck also shows us the severe discrimination that black and old people were receiving in those times, which has been reduced until nowadays, where black and old people are normal people in our society. "Of Mice and Men" is a very effective way of seeing how the times change, and of seeing how sad and lonely people could be years ago, and it makes you think about how lucky we are living in our society. Carlos Torrent S3B ...read more.

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