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

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

Extracts from this document...


1. Harry Lovejoy. 'Of Mice and Men Essay.' Question-'How does the novel Of Mice And Men reflect life in the 1930s' John Steinbeck was born in 1902 in Salinas, California. His mother was a teacher and the reason why he learned to love books and his father was a county treasurer. He attended his local school and in the holidays worked on farms and ranches, this is the reason he is able to give such an insight to how life was there. After school he went to Stanford university studying marine biology but did not get a degree. He then went to New York for a short time were he worked as a reporter for the American Newspaper, before going back to California to concentrate on is writing. He wrote many books including Sea of Cortez, Of Mice An Men and A Russian Journal Before winning a noble Prize for Literature in 1962. The novel I am doing this essay on I 'Of Mice And Men' by John Steinbeck, set in California. The book was written In 1936 and also based in this period. This is in the middle of the great depression, which started in 1930 when firms and 2298 banks went bust and losing everybodies savings and finished at the beginning of the second world war. During the depression millions of people were left wandering around looking for jobs and surviving any way they could. All this came just after the boom of the 1920s where it was easy to find work and everybody was paid very well. In the 30s Steinbeck was also one of the 13million people without a proper job, this is because his writing alone would not be able to support him. This is similar to page 11 in the book where Lennie and George are looking for jobs, they also didn't have much money so they are unable so buy the simplest things such as ketchup for their baked beans. ...read more.


Although she is very unhappy with Curley and says that he is bad man, she stays with him. This could because she knows one day he will get the ranch and have quite a lot of money compared to everyone else. She knows that if she sticks with him she will have a secure future. However one of the reasons why the men stay away from her is because she is a flirt and could get them into trouble. For example when Lennie and George first started working she came over to George and flirted with him. She would have to be careful because if she did get caught with another man she could be kicked out, and then would not have such a secure future. The men mainly see women as people they tell what to do and sleep with. They don't treat any women with respect except for Susi who runs the brothel in town, they tend to teat her with some respect as she shows them a good time, is nice and is honest. The men go town to go to the brothel to sleep with women at the end of each month when they get their pay. On page 55 they talk about Susi's place saying things like' Susi's a laugh', 'Theres no water in her whisky' implying that she is honest. They generally talk about what a nice place it is and how nice Susi is. From this you can tell that she is the only women they give any respect. Although Curley never really showed his wife any respect or showed he loved her. When Lennie killed her he goes cold and gets very mad and upset. He immediately gets his gun and organises two teams to find Lennie and shoot him. This shows that he did love her even though he didn't treat her very well. Another character is Slim, he tends to keep to himself and is very calm and quiet. ...read more.


In the book Crooks is a very useful person as he is very good at his job but is not tolerated by the other workers because he is black, compared to Candy who is old and not really any use to any one as all he can to is sweep the floor, but he is tolerated. This maybe because he is white, also because he is a human. When the other workers decide that Candy's old dog is no good for it's self, they take it out side and shoot it because it is only a dog. Candy says' They wouldn't shoot me when I'm no good', suggesting that white humans are tolerated more than dogs or black people. The workers respect each other and are polite to each other but at the same time it's every man for him self as they cannot rely on anyone else to help them to much. The workers know its every man for himself as they no if they want anything such as to follow their dream they have to work for it themselves and not hope that other people will help them. Even though they know they are on their own all the workers are friends and watch out for each other on the ranch. Most of the men don't mind Lennie as they no he means well and is no trouble but Curley shows a more realistic view of him, which would better represent the 1930's better. Curley shows a lot of intolerance towards Lennie as he is seen as not normal, he shows this intolerance by continuously threatening him and in the end starting a fight with him. From looking over my work I believe the characters in the novel 'Of Mice And Men' show that they were living in the 1930's very well. Their belongings jobs and actions all show that they were living in this period. I also believe the character of Crooks, Curleys wife and the boss all show how different people were treated at this time. ...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. The Great Depression of the 1930's was the hardest of hard times for millions ...

    Her fingernails were red. Her hair hung in little rolled clusters, like sausages. She wore a cotton house dress and red mules, on the insteps which were little bouquets of red ostrich feathers."

  2. How does life on the ranch reflect the social issues of 1930's America

    "They dream of living of the fatta the land..." The American Dream was what truly kept the migrant workers going. America went through a crucial stage in the 1930's. The workers had to cope with depression. In the novel, this issue is clear.

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

    In Of Mice and Men, the men usually play cards, in their 'bunk house'. The men play solitaire, a one man game, which shows the continuous theme of loneliness throughout the novel. There are many references to the men playing cards, usually in awkward circumstances, for example the shooting of Candy's dog.

  2. Of Mice and Men is set in the 1930's, this is important as during ...

    "Snorting like a horse" is used too. As we go through the book, more and more animal imagery is used, especially regarding the relationship between Lennie and George. This is important in atmospheric description, because the relationship is central to things happening around them, and gives us reasons for many

  1. Of Mice and Men

    God a'mighty, if I was alone I could live so easy. I could go get a job an' work, an no trouble. No mess at all, and when the end of the month come I could take my fifty bucks and go into town and get whatever I want" (11-12).

  2. Lennie Small is the central character in the novel, 'Of Mice and Men'. The ...

    So unsurprisingly it sold, and sold, and sold... Lennie is a huge grown man, but he is also very childlike. He is a brilliant farm labourer because he is a powerful man with huge hands. He may grown up physically but he hasn't grown up mentally, as Slim says, 'he's jes like a kid.'

  1. Of Mice and Men

    is unlikely to ever come true. Overall, George is an intelligent and kind character. He is thoughtful enough to realise that the best thing for Lennie is to shoot him, for the alternatives are even worse, and compassionate enough to kill Lennie himself.

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

    The reason why Lennie and George kept working is because of their dream. The Dream was to own a small farm in the country side with animals and crops, they 2. have this dream because it is the only thing they have to look forward to in life, and as

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