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

Mice and Men Coursework

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Many of the characters in 'Of Mice and Men' had dreams, but how close were they to achieving these dreams? 'Of Mice and Men' was written by John Steinbeck in 1937. The novel was originally written as a play and was then later published into a book. Steinbeck came from California and was familiar with the farmland and the ranches around Salinas; where the novel is set. Steinbeck was writing during the Great Depression and wanted to show many of the impacts this time period had on America and its people. The Great Depression was an economic slump in North America which lasted from 1929-1939. The Great Depression transpired because of the Wall Street Crash of 1929, one of the most devastating stock market crashes in American history. The Wall Street Crash was when all the share prices plummeted on the New York stock market. Millions of Americans lost all of the money they had invested in stocks and shares. As a result many businesses collapsed and people faced starvation. The President at that time, Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried to improve the situation with relief and recovery programmes to provide employment, housing and low-rate farm loans. President Roosevelt wanted to reduce the number of unemployed citizens from around 17 million to 7-10 million and and thanks to this scheme, a number of employment agencies (such as Murray and Ready) sprang up. These agencies would deal with casual farm workers, issuing them with work cards and travel tickets to their destination. From this situation grew a generation of desperate drifters, known as 'migrant' or 'itinerant' workers, most of whom headed to California, trying to escape from the Dust Bowls. In California, the soil was good and there was supposed to be plenty of room. Many of these itinerant workers dreamt of owning their own piece of land. Ever since the first colonies were established in America, people wanted their own land. ...read more.

Middle

Candy's dream comes to a close when Lennie murders Curley's wife. When Candy realises the situation he asks George, 'You an' me can get that little place can't we, George? You an' me can go there an' live nice, can't we, George? Can't we?' He asks out of desperation, as he already knows the answer. It seems as if the dream was always too good to be true. Another important character in the novel that has a dream is Crooks the negro stable buck, he represents many of the themes that can be found in the book including loneliness, discrimination and predjudice. During the twenties and thirties, there were very strong racist views held by white people against Negro and Oriental labourers. The Negroes were insulted and segregated. The word 'nigger' was not meant as a deliberate insult, as it is today. It was common placed and totally acceptable for a white person to call a black American a 'nigger'. Crooks was the only black worker on the ranch. Like George and Lennie, Crooks the stable buck is an outsider, but whereas they can find easy acceptance in the bunkhouse, Crooks is confined to his own quarters, segregated on account of his colour. In real life only very few black people worked the fields in California. Crooks is socially isolated from the rest of the ranch and has little interaction with the rest of the workers. When Candy says, 'Ya see the stable buck's a nigger', we can see how racist comments were more acceptable in this time period. This must add to Crooks' isolation and loneliness from the other men. 'I can't play (cards) because I'm black. They say I stink.' This quote illustrates that Crooks feels the pain of rejection, more than he leads people to see. In fact, he protects himself by acting like a 'proud and aloof man.' When Lennie visits him in his room, his reaction reveals this fact. ...read more.

Conclusion

He says he was gonna put me in the movies ... Soon's he got back to Hollywood he was gonna write to me about it.' She then tells us that she never recieved a letter. However, she rejects the fact that the person did not send the letter, but instead blames her mother for stealing it, 'I never got that letter ... I always thought my ol' lady stole it.' She then reveals that she married Curley, to spite her mother. Marrying Curley extingiushed all her hopes of becoming a film star. Curley's wife makes a connection with Lennie as they both have dreams and are both misunderstood by the other ranch workers. This is ironic as Lennie is ultimately the person who ends her dream. She understands Lennie, and in understanding him lets him touch her and dies by his hand. The irony of her death is that it is dramatic enough for a movie, and that her sad end would credit any decent Hollywood film. Curley's wife dies after confessing her lifelong dream to Lennie. It was very obvious that her dream was doomed from the start because of her rocky relationship with her mother and her sealed fate in marrying Curley. The only outlet for the characters in this book to rise above their troubles is a shared dream of a better place. From the beginning of the story Lennie and George ride high on the thought of someday owning a farm. For George, it is the expectation of being his own boss and taking care of his own place. For Lennie, it is the expectation of simply being able to pet animals all day long. When this dream is shared with others, it becomes contagious. Candy and Crooks sign on to this fantasy, which helps them also to transcend their circumstances. Without dreams these characters would have nothing. It provided them with some sort of comfort and hope in which they could escape from their harsh lives. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sandip Bhalsod 10SXM Mr.Honney ...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. Explore John Steinbeck's presentation in Of Mice and Men of the culture and experience ...

    Just like clock work. Some of the characters on the ranch are friendly, for example Slim, he does not have a plan or a dream, it is as if he accepts his role in society and moves on, he never gets angry or shows much emotion, he is always calm and cool.

  2. TIME TRAVEL : Evidence Unseen

    Jackson was a mechanic, who died by heedlessly walking into a spinning propeller two days before the squadron, which was to be disbanded, posed for the photo. In fact, his funeral took place on the day the squadron gathered for the photo.

  1. Of Mice and Men: Compare 'The American Dream' with the real lives of the ...

    also, as he says in the text, there are no 'black' families near. Because of this, when he first meets Lennie he is hostile and torments him because thats how he has always been treated. He starts by calling Lennie "nuts" and "crazy as a wedge" but it is only

  2. The protagonist of the story is George. He is the kind-hearted ranch hand who ...

    These first two books received scant attention. Finally in 1933, Steinbeck achieved success with his short story The Red Pony. Steinbeck's next novel, Tortilla Flat (1935), dealt with the migrant workers and poor farmers. In Dubious Battle (1936) realistically portrays the labor strife in California during the nineteen thirties.

  1. Nobody ever gets to heaven, and nobody never gets no land', says Crooks to ...

    Is how Crooks was first described lined with pain. Here Steinbeck makes you feel a great deal of sympathy for him. Carlson represents most men in the society, cold and harsh ranch workers which were affected by the society and it had changed them into the cold harsh emotionless people they are.

  2. Why I think Candy was added by John Steinbeck to his book

    Every one had been made redundant hence the Great Depression. Most people were not used to working hard labour and tended not to stay on one ranch too long, but Crooks and Candy were different they were both disabled meaning they were entitled to stay till they die.

  1. Compare the American Dream with the real lives of the migrant workers in the ...

    In the middle of the room stood a big square table littered with playing cards..." (Page 38). It can be described like a lonely hut, where the workers spend their free time. There is virtually no privacy and no freedom.

  2. Of Mice and Men- In the extract we see that Crooks is very cynical ...

    who has been segregated and lonely for so long he grasps any chance of having the upper hand over someone. Crooks? goaded Lennie in this way because he wanted him to understand what it?s like to be alone, ?S?pose you didn?t have nobody.? Although he realises Lennie will never understand

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