"The Migrant Workers Of The Dirty Thirties", Compares "Of Mice And Men" And "The Grapes Of Wrath" Both By John Steinbeck, With True Migrant Workers Of That Time.

1396 words - 6 pages

The "Dirty Thirties" brought much struggle to the people of North America. With the stock market crash of 1929 and the droughts and dust storms that dominated the next ten years, life in the Great Plains region of the United States was miserable. Many families packed up as many belongings as they could manage and began their journey to find work. Some families went towards California and the West and others went towards the East. John Steinbeck, who was born in the Salinas Valley of California, witnessed first hand much of this migration to the West and he wrote many books pertaining to his home state. Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath are two such examples, examining two very different migrant families during the 1930s. Steinbeck's books have often been criticized for being untrue to the history they explore (Timmerman 5). Nevertheless, the characters in these two books have certain elements in common with migrant workers of the Depression. The main struggles for migrant workers during the 1930s were work and survival, looking out for one another, and dreams.Surviving the Great Depression was a major concern for people all over North America, and the people of the Great Plains had tough weather conditions to deal with in addition to the failing economy. The "Dust Bowl", a series of dust storms and destructive winds, was very destructive in this region of the United States. Oklahoma, the home of the Joad family in The Grapes of Wrath, was one of the areas hit hardest by the dust storms. The Joad family has to leave the state in search of a better life in order to find work and to survive. They try to get by on as little as possible, eating cornmeal for quite some time to save money for gas (Grapes ? 414). In The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck focusses on the struggles a large family encounters in pursuit of work and a new way of life in a different state far from home. Of Mice and Men provides a contrast to the Joads because the main characters have enough to survive. Lennie Small and George Milton work hard at a ranch and are paid and fed regularly. They eat three meals a day with the other ranch hands and do not go hungry. At night, George is able to go drinking in town with the other ranch hands when they go to "old Susy's place", a strip club (Mice ? 52). Steinbeck shows that the Depression years were not as bad for some people as they were for others, by contrasting the Joads with Lennie and George.Migrant families tried to look out for one another as much as possible in the camps, on the road and when finding work. Looking out for each another allowed the migrant families to feel needed and respected. Migrant workers looked out for each other's rights and their own rights as well. By organizing strikes for better wages and working conditions, the workers tried to create a better lifestyle for themselves, their families and their fellow people from the Great Plains ( ). The Joad family embodies this trait throughout The Grapes of Wrath....

Find Another Essay On "The Migrant Workers of the Dirty Thirties", compares "Of Mice and Men" and "The Grapes of Wrath" both by John Steinbeck, with true migrant workers of that time.

Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck. Critical Analysis on the effects of the Depression Era on the migrant farm worker.

1552 words - 6 pages ." ). Through man's hunger of land, he's faced with many contemporary social issues (Fontenrose 2). Poverty was a prevailing theme throughout Of Mice and Men (Of Mice and Men Factsheet). Migrant workers are suffering from poverty and have no hope to reaching their hopeful successes. Those in California found that the available labor pool was vastly disproportionate to the number of job openings that could be filled. Even with an entire family working

Literally Analysis..."Of Mice and Men" and "The Grapes of Wrath", by Steinbeck

1299 words - 5 pages Grapes of Wrath. Through the novels The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men and their plots, Steinbeck conveys the theme that when faced with an unfair situation, people take over the law as the law to decide for their own good. This reflects the time of Great Depression, where people rarely got proper, fair trial and the police were corrupt. People learned to live by their own rules, like the characters that appear in Steinbeck's books.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

884 words - 4 pages another of his twisted and possibly controversial works called Of Mice and Men. One of John Steinbeck's main and possibly most obvious themes, is the hostility and frequent hatred between the migrant workers and the already socially and financially established Californians. There are many examples in the book that show not only that Steinbeck thought that it was an issue to be concerned with, but also it showed his thoughts and feelings towards

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

697 words - 3 pages      John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath is the story of the experiences of the Joad family from the time of their eviction from a farm near Sallisaw, Oklahoma to their first winter in California. The Joad family’s story illustrates the hardship and oppression suffered by migrant laborers during the Great Depression. The novel begins with the description of the conditions in Dust Bowl Oklahoma that ruined the

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

1771 words - 7 pages absolutely nothing, but wages low enough in company scrip that they could only buy enough for one meal. The people were forced even further apart by their own ways of pushing themselves apart such as cleanliness and race. Steinbeck shows the effects of mechanization on all people in his novel The Grapes of Wrath. Mechanization brings capitalism, leads to the decision for land owners of whether to run a business using greed or virtue, and

"The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck.

1484 words - 6 pages Grapes of Wrath: The Hero's EndingThe Hero's JourneySeparation (from the known)The CallThe Threshold (with guardians, helpers, and mentor)Initiation and TransformationThe ChallengesThe AbyssThe TransformationThe RevelationThe AtonementThe Return (to the known world)The Return (with a Gift)A traditional Hero's Journey story follows the pattern above. The story follows the hero on his journal from point A, through obstacles, to point B, and then

"The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck.

847 words - 3 pages "...Sometimes, a guy'll be a good guy even if some rich bastard makes him carry a sticker," (11) says Tom Joad as the reader is introduced to him. Right away, one learns what kind of man Tom is. He's obviously kind and giving, and he expects it from everyone else around him. In John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, the reader is introduced to the entire Joad family from Oklahoma. It is not surprising to learn that every member of the Joad family

"Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck, one of the greatest American books of our time, explained and dissected.

1447 words - 6 pages the farmers that the only way to survive the sudden changes is to understand the difference between the causes and results of their hopeless situation (Fontenrose 3). By comparing and using allusions to past events Steinbeck is enriching the story and giving the story a foundation to show the struggles of the Okies during the time of the depression.Motifs set the tone for Grapes of Wrath, that help show how the migrants were treated in and on

"The Grapes of Wrath" John Steinbeck.

885 words - 4 pages drugged by the family so that they can load him into the truck. Also, Muley Graves, the Joads' former neighbor, also refused to leave for California with his family and eventually succeeds in sending them on without him. Both men represent an understandable unwillingness to be separated from their land, considering that the land has shaped and represented who they are.Due to this hard expedition west Rose of Sharon, Ma Joad and Jim Casy himself

Owners vs Workers in "The Grapes of Wrath"

832 words - 3 pages Hooverville. The actions taken by the deputy contains many of the ideas Steinbeck believes.One is the idea that workers should stick together. In the time of The Grapes of Wrath deputies got paid by how many people brought into custody. The deputy, brought by the representative of one of the big companies, falsely accuses workers in the camp to scare the workers into submission. After leaving, the camp is forced to pack up and leave.The acts of the

"Grapes of Wrath" and Of "Mice and Men" by Steinbeck, Character Study

926 words - 4 pages depression. It is in this fact that one can see how Steinbeck's intention in 'The grapes of Wrath' was to depict the hardships people went through during an actual event in American history. Perhaps the most solemn message in this novel was the poor treatment of the dispossessed families as they reached California. In 'Of Mice and Men' the reader is presented with a story that takes place in the same setting of 'The Grapes of Wrath' This story details

Similar Essays

A Comparison Of Migrant Workers In The Grapes Of Wrath And Of Mice And Men

2952 words - 12 pages Migrant Workers in The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men        John Steinbeck wrote about what surrounded him. At the time he was writing, the nineteen-thirties, a great depression was plaguing the United States. Many people were out of work. Many farmers were losing their farms and homes. An extreme drought had also wrecked the farms of the Midwest and made them into what is now referred to as the "dust bowl". It was a terrible

Migrant Workers And Steinbecks Grapes Of Wrath

1253 words - 5 pages both have medical training programs that involve the volunteering of the services of the medical student to the migrant farm workers. In 1994 and 1995 the Georgia State University faculty and students provided approximately 1,150 episodes of care to migrant farm workers and their families. They provided both physical examinations along with educational classes on personal health and safety.According to Lorine Spencer, an assistant professor of

How Does Steinbeck Present The Culture Of The Migrant Workers In The Novel "Of Mice And Men"?

1429 words - 6 pages migrant men had to travel alone to different places to find temporary jobs in ranches. Most of these people did not have their own families and their relatives maybe too far away, most had no friends so they travelled and lived alone only to care for themselves.. This is shown in Of Mice and Men by the loneliness and isolation with some of the workers on the ranch. The men were very isolated and had no time for proper relationships with women

The American Dream Portrayed In Of Mice And Men By John Steinbeck Vs The Reality Of A Migrant Worker

2658 words - 11 pages A Comparison of the American Dream Portrayed in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and the Reality of a Migrant Worker Of Mice and Men is a novel written by John Steinbeck in 1937, this novel concentrates on the lives of migrant workers. Steinbeck's purpose is to show the reality of achieving the American Dream- as the title suggests. 'To a Mouse… The best laid schemes o' Mice and Men, Gang aft agley,' is the source of the