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Steinbecks novels can all be classified as social novels dealing with the economic problems of rural labour in America in the 1920s and 30s. Around the time of publication of Of Mice and Men climate changes had turned large

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Introduction

Jayne Stupple 15/11/04 HOMEWORK OF MICE AND MEN John Steinbeck was born in 1902 in Salinas California. Steinbeck was one of the best-known novelist of the mid 20th century. His frequent topics were the plight of the misfits, (the character Lennie in the novel) the homeless and the migrant farm workers in a fast changing America. In his novel Of Mice and Men his personal knowledge of the farms and the migratory workers is evident. Of Mice and Men is set in the farmland of Salinas valley, where John Steinbeck grew up. His father owned land in the area and as a young man Steinbeck worked as a farm hand. The Ranch in the story is near Soledad a town near Salinas. The countryside described in the opening chapter of the book and the ranch itself would have been very familiar to John Steinbeck. Steinbecks novels can all be classified as social novels dealing with the economic problems of rural labour in America in the 1920s and 30s. ...read more.

Middle

The conversation with Candy concerning the lice infested mattress gives us the impression the bunk houses where used by many workhands passing through. Steinbeck would have encountered the racism that was evident around this time. The "nigger" is mentioned quite early in the novel when Candy tells George how One Christmas the boss gave them a whole gallon of whisky and that night they even let the "nigger in" During this period in America the blacks were treated badly. They would not have been allowed to share the same bunkhouse as the white workers. This is evident in the novel when we are introduced to Crooks. He has a bunk in the Stables among the harnesses. You get a sense of his unease when Lennie shows up one night and enters his room. "You got no right to come to my room, this here's my room, nobody got no right to be here but me" crooks says sharply. ...read more.

Conclusion

Curlys wife also in a sense had hopes of 'the American Dream' when she talks about how she 'coulda been in the movies and had nice clothes'. She also has dreams of making it and having a better life. The Title of the book Of Mice and Men comes from a poem by Robert Burns The best laid shemes o' mice and men Gang aft agley (often-go wrong) And leave us nought but grief and pain From promised joy This reflects the outcome of the story, George and Lennie have dreams and plans of a better life, but however hard they try things always go wrong. The first we encounter this is in the first chapter by the river. We learn why they had to leave their last job. Then in the closing chapter we return to the same spot at the river to see George kill Lennie. We see this as a merciful killing as George would not want Lennie to suffer at the hands of Curly and the other farmhands. With the killing of his friend and travelling companion their 'dream' dies with him. ...read more.

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