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'Of Mice and Men' shows how factors beyond the characters' control prevent them from leading fulfilling lives. Discuss

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'Of Mice and Men' shows how factors beyond the characters' control prevent them from leading fulfilling lives. Discuss John Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men' is set, and was written in the time of The Great Depression, 1929. During The Great Depression there were as many as fifteen million people, in the United States of America alone, left unemployed and with no way to feed their families. The Great Depression was caused by the Wall Street crash. The Wall Street Crash, when stocks and shares plummeted, resulted in America as a world trading country loosing gargantuan amounts money due to the many of the large companies of America going bankrupt. Because the companies went bankrupt they could no longer afford to pay any workers, this meant that they lost their jobs. Even the farms in the country could not stay running because of the Dust Bowl effect, this is when there is prolonged drought and the earth becomes like dust, entirely unsuitable to grow anything in. With a vast amount of the nation unemployed, people were desperately searching for work, simply in order to survive. When the idea came about that people could go and work the land in California, people jumped at the chance despite the appalling pay. ...read more.


I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely", and she believes she should be "... in the movies", a place where you will always be in the 'spotlight' so to speak, quite the opposite to how she is being treated on the ranch. Candy is the 'crippled swamper' on the ranch, and is only able to do menial jobs around the ranch; this offers him no real fulfilment. Despite this Candy's life amounts to the work he does on the ranch and his dog, these are all he lives for "When they can me here I wisht somebody'd shoot me." As time progresses Candy realises that he has not got long left and with his dog, a huge part of his life having just been killed out of sympathy, he asks to join George and Lennie's dream instead of his life being over once he has been told to leave the ranch "S'pose I went in with you guys". In wishing somebody would shoot him when he was told to leave the ranch shows that Candy fears for his future and where he has to go to when he is told to leave. ...read more.


I believe Slim to be the only main character in the novel to live a fulfilled life because he is clearly respected by all members of the ranch and very much favoured by them. Slim has security and he is also very independent, because of everyone's admiration he also feels good in himself, Slim must have a great sense of fulfilment in his life. In a time where everyone had to make the most of what they had, only one person in this novel has succeeded, and that in my eyes would be Slim. It was a 'dog eat dog world' during the Great Depression and Slim manages to rise above all of the bad things that have happened to him due to it. He manages to lift himself up above everyone else who were stuck in the rut of their own self pity, he manipulated the situation and uses it to his advantage. He took the wrong things in the other peoples lives and offered solutions for example he gave George someone to talk to, or the fact that he was polite to those who were treated like dirt, this made people like and respect him which is what drove him on inspite or the Depression. Martin Jones 4M Mrs. Wilson ...read more.

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