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How does the novel Of Mice and Men reflect the culture of 1930s America?

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Introduction

How does the novel 'Of Mice and Men' reflect the culture of 1930's America? In my essay I am going to write regarding how John Steinbeck's novel: 'Of Mice and Men' reflects the culture of 1930's America. The main focus of my essay is the treatment of women and prejudice towards black people. Of Mice and Men was written by John Steinbeck. John Steinbeck was born on February 27, 1902, in Salinas, California. His father worked as the regions treasurer while his mother, Olive (Hamilton) Steinbeck, a former school teacher, fostered Steinbeck's love of reading and the written word. During summers he worked as a hired help on nearby ranches. After graduating from Salinas High School in 1919, Steinbeck attended Stanford University. His first novel, Cup of Gold was published in 1929, but attracted little attention. His two subsequent novels, The Pastures of Heaven and To a God Unknown, were also poorly received by the literary world. His book 'Of Mice and Men' was published in 1937. At the time, America was still suffering the harsh result of the depression and the travelling workers, who form the basis of the novel, were very much within the "consciousness of a nation separated by wealth" but they were still driven by the idea of 'the American dream'. The story is a tragic story about George Milton and Lennie Small, one simple and one a cynical man. They are both moving from ranch to ranch searching for jobs. ...read more.

Middle

They wouldn't allow him to enter the bunk house. Although he is lonely, he would rather stay away from the ranch workers because of the way they treat him. "He kept his distance and demanded that other keep theirs." However, he still wanted to have friends. "Know what he done Christmas? Brang a gallon of whisky right in here and says, "drink hearty, boys. Christmas comes but once a year."" This shows that Crooks only gets to go in the bunk house once a year. Generally he keeps himself away from the bunk house and has a room to himself. This is because of the boundaries between black and white people. Crooks knows that he is not welcome in the bunk house; 'I ain't wanted in the bunk house and you ain't wanted in my room.' Crooks also knows that he is not welcome because of the colour of his skin: 'Cause I'm black. They play cards in there, but I can't play cause I'm black. They say I stink. Well I tell you, all of you stink to me.' Although he is well educated he doesn't get treated the same way the other men on the ranch get treated. He is one of the most permanent workers on the ranch because he has crooked back which is caused because he got kicked by a horse in the back on the ranch. Crooks gets annoyed when Lennie enters his room because he thinks that Lennie would treat him like the other people on the ranch treat him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Curley's wife died and Crooks wouldn't be able to achieve it because people in the society would never allow him his freedom All the characters had a dream, The American Dream. The dream of Lennie and George was to live "off the fat of the land". They wanted to achieve this dream so Lennie would always want to hear the dream from George. Crooks also wanted to share their dreams and so did Candy. But their dream was ruined because of the death of Curley's wife. She also had a dream. Her dream was to become an actress in Hollywood. She married Curley because she thought that she could make a lot of money and work in Hollywood. Her dream would never be realised because she died cruelly. In conclusion, I think that John Steinbeck's novel 'Of Mice and Men' reflects a lot about the culture of 1930's America. It focuses on various different factors; racism, the treatment of women and the jobs that most American men had. He also shows that one thing can ruin everyone's dream. The death of Curley's wife damaged George and Lennie's dream. Curley's wife was killed unintentionally by Lennie. George knew that if he didn't kill Lennie the ranch workers would kill him, so he decided to shoot his only real friend. Crooks and Curley's wife are similar in some ways. They are similar in the way they are treated. They are both lonely. They have nobody to talk to. They also have an American dream. Loneliness is a result of being marginalized by society and Steinbeck shows this clearly in his novel. ?? ?? ?? ?? - 1 -Kibria Ali ...read more.

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