Of Mice and Men Revision - Context

* Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California and worked jobs such as a construction labourer and care taker, because he has experience some of the issues featured in this book first hand, or perhaps seen others experience them, we know that the issues such as the search for the American dream are true and his perspective is quite reliable. * More and more people adopted simpler dreams, such as a small piece of land to call their own, because many suffered from crises such as the Wall Street Crash or the Dust Bowl Disaster.

In a modern day context we may perceive George and Lennie to be quite an unlucky pair, but in those times having a job and a bunk to sleep in was enough. * However, like many others they were in that situation due to an end in the American prosperity, as characterised the US through the 20’s. This end came on ‘Black Tuesday’, 29/10/29, when the stock markets crashed and the Great Depression started, as a result of this unemployment rose from 3% in 1929 to 26% five years later, again showing just how lucky George and Lennie were.

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People were also being put out of work due to the agricultural revolution where machines were replacing a dozen men. * Although the American dream of a piece of land, control and security was out of reach for the vast majority of the 34 million men, women and children with no income, and most of those who were lucky enough to have a little income, it was still held dearly.

These people had nothing but the dream that would help them through the hunger and may have soothed them to sleep when they don’t have anything else to think of but worry. * But for women it was slightly different, they also may have wished for control and security in a male dominated world but they also had other things to wish for. Most women at the time weren’t granted with any respect, as we can tell from Curley’s wife not being referred to as anything else but a possession of her husband throughout the entire novel.

Women could be one, or all, of these three things, a mother, a wife or a prostitute, all of them serving men but being little else than a play thing. Curley’s wife falls into the role of a wife, a role she has lost her identity to, but the judgements from the men show just how easy it is to be classed into the other category of a whore too.

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