What do we learn about life in Americas in the 1930's from John Steinbeck's novel, Of Mice and Men ?

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Julius Atuona                                                                                                                             28/05/02

“Of Mice and Men”

What do we learn about life in Americas in the 1930’s from John Steinbeck’s novel, “Of Mice and Men”?

John Steinbeck was born and raised in Salinas, in 1902. Steinbeck was of German and Irish ancestry. His father was the county treasurer and his mother was a teacher. Steinbeck attended Salinas High School and went on to study Marine Biology at Stanford University, but failed to finish his course. He travelled to New York and worked as a reporter, unfortunately he was fired. After he took on many different jobs and became an apprentice, a painter, a caretaker, a surveyor and a fruit picker. He married three times in 1930, in 1943 and in 1950. During the World War Two, Steinbeck became a War correspondent. In 1960 he toured 40 states of America and was awarded with a Noble Prize in the same year. Steinbeck later died in 1968, at the age of 64.

In the 1920s share prices in the USA rapidly increased year after year. Many Americans believed that by investing money in the stocks they could make quick and easy money. The selling and buying of shares almost became uncontrollable, many people brought shares without realising that they could easily loose it. Some companies were totally false and others lied to their customers in order to take advantage of the money hungry people of the USA. On the 24th and 29th of October 1922, share prices on Wall Street fell dramatically. This fall became known as the Wall Street Crash. This crash became the main cause of the nationwide depression. The depression hit America first then spread to other countries around the world. People began to lose their confidence in the stock markets and embarked on saving as opposed to buying stock. Many banks collapsed as people withdrew their money, and saved it at home.

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“Of Mice and Men” is a very famous story written by John Steinbeck in 1937. It is set in different parts of Southern California. It is a deep and poignant story, which focuses on many different controversial aspects of America in the 1930s. It is about two close friends who are migrant workers. They travel from ranch to ranch looking for work. Unfortunately one of the two, Lennie, is slow witted and has the mental age of a child. Lennie’s aunt asks George, to look after him and he makes it his duty. George takes responsibilities over him and ...

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