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Of Mice and Men.

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Of Mice and Men In 1930, the American Depression began. It was to become a feature that would affect many people's lives. Men such as George and Lennie had no literacy skills; therefore their job span was increasingly limited. George and Lennie were unique in the way that they went around the country working on the ranches together. John Steinbeck used George and Lennie's companionship in these times of hardship to reflect optimism and hope. Steinbeck's knowledge is mirrored in a vast amount of this book in the way that he produces scenes for the characters to encounter and try to solve. America turned on its people in the Depression, forcing even the severely disabled to work for they had no other options they would not survive if they did not have any capital. Workers used the ranch's resources to comfort themselves. Workers even came to the ranches on a Saturday afternoon, so they could have all their meals on the day of rest and then depart without doing any intense labour. The book illustrates this fact with the quote. ' Guy that wants to look over a ranch comes in Sat'day afternoon. He gets Sat'day night supper an' three meals on Sunday, and he quit Monday mornin' after breakfast without turning his hand'. This quote emphasises the ranch workers dependence upon the ranches and in a way lets us into the typical ranch workers pattern of thoughts, therefore this reiterates how the migrant culture worked. Throughout the book, George and Lennie have a pipe dream; this dream has been a goal, a goal to keep them from spiralling into depression. ...read more.


Her isolation is increased by the fact that she is the only woman on the ranch and the only unemployed person as well, therefore she has far too much time on her hands. Her hasty marriage was a way to conquer loneliness; however it has only stretched her detachment from the world. Other lonesome characters such as Candy and George will not mix with her, as they see her as a troublesome threat. The only person on the ranch who listens to Curley's wife is Lennie, however the relationship is not true, for Lennie's mental problems make it infeasible for him to join in any conversation. Lennie's power is what makes Curley's wife attracted to him, for Lennie crushed Curley's hand during a fight. Most women would be furious with the man who had injured her husband, but Curley's wife laughs saying to Lennie.' Ok, Machine. I'll talk to you later. I like machines.' This implicates how she hates her husband and reveals that she only married him for security. Curley's wife knows that Lennie is mentally inadequate, therefore she feels as if she has power over him and of course it is unlikely that she has ever experienced this feeling before. The migrant culture has had a great effect on Curley's wife life. The men who once had time for her, now have to work to survive, therefore they have no time for her inane chatter. George is another solitary character on the ranch. This may sound inaccurate, but as we have discovered Lennie is mentally disabled and cannot participate in sort of conversation. ...read more.


Hopes and Dreams became the great factor in George and Lennie's relationship, for it gave them something to talk about that they both understood and talking is the key to a good friendship. Lonesome migrant workers did not have a friend to confide instead they constantly thought about the long working hours and their isolation. A dream kept them focused and acted as an aid to comfort them. George has now become one of these lonely souls, who we envisage trekking along dusty roads with a face tangled by his own grief. It would not have been right if Lennie, George and Candy went to the idyllic farmhouse and lived happily ever, as that would have not been reflecting the outcome of so many migrant workers lives and Steinbeck would have been interpreting a false hope to the reader. Characters in the novel such as Candy and Crooks fell into the 'invalid category', where they were envisaged as being outsiders who looked up to normal people on the ranch. Crooks was a black man and at the time of the Depression, black people were looked upon as dirt and only being able to do jobs that would not involve them with any human contact, therefore he was very much isolated from the world and felt bitter and resentful towards any human who tried to bond with him. An example of Crook's bitterness: ' Crooks said sharply: You got no right to come in my room. This here's my room. Nobody got any right in here but me.' ...read more.

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