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Of Mice and Men. How does the Soledad ranch represent 1930s America?

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Introduction

How does the Soledad ranch represent 1930s' America? Steinbeck wrote the novel 'of mice and men' in 1937. He wrote the novel to portray how migrant workers lived. The message he was trying to convey was the American dream and the great depression. Steinbeck conveys this message through the variety of characters he uses in the book. In my essay I will be examining racism, sexism , loneliness , isolation and itinerant workers. The presence of Curley's wife is inappropriate in the ranch as she not seen to be participating in any of the work that is done there. Steinbeck conveys this image of curleys wife in order to comment upon sexism in the 1930s', by showing that women weren't suitable to work on ranches he writes that "her fingernails were red" . The choice of the colour red is to portray Curley's wife in a provocative image as the colour red signifies passion and sexuality. ...read more.

Middle

Steinbeck writes about him as a hard working character; although crooks' life is difficult, he appears to remain dedicated to his job. The fact that he opens the door 'quietly' is perhaps an indication of crooks respect towards the other men on the ranch. Steinbeck wants the reader to feel apologetic for crooks, given that this book was aimed at a 1930s' audience; maybe he wanted the reader to query their ideas about race. The way Steinbeck picks and orders the language effectively shows crooks' qualities and how hard-working he was. Steinbeck does this to show 1930s' America and how migrant and itinerant workers acted on ranches. Candy is isolated and has no friend's apart from an animal. His dog is his company and his sole equivalent to a friend. "I had him since he was a pup." This quotation shows the loneliness and effects of the great depression in the 1930s. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows that they live in an uncared and unstable habitat. The Soledad ranch represents the poor conditions that people in ranches were living in during the 1930s. The American dream was an opportunity for every American to have a dream about fame, money and peace. Steinbeck uses the dream as a goal that all the characters want to aim for. George and lennie have a dream: their dream is to work get money and live the American dream. Steinbeck shows this when George and lennie are talking by the brush. "With us it aint like that. We got a future. They hold on to their dream as it gives them something to look forward to. Curley's wife also has a dream: she wants to be a movie star "he says he was gonna put me in the movies. Says I was a natural. Soon he got back to Hollywood he was gonna write to me about it. This also shows that Curleys wife is a 1930s unconventional housewife which Links back to sexism, as Curley's wife is shown to be holding on to a dream that is unlikely to happen. ...read more.

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