The ranch in Of Mice and Men is a very hostile environment.
The ranch in ‘Of Mice and Men’ is a very hostile environment. What do
we learn about life during the Great Depression from John Steinbeck’s
In this essay I aim to describe how life was like on a ranch during
the great depression in John Steinbeck’s novel ‘Of Mice and Men’.
Steinbeck was born on February 27, 1902 in Salinas, California. This
is where the book is set, in the Salinas valley. The books exact
location is in Soledad near the Salinas Valley. From research I found
out that Steinbeck chose the title ‘Of Mice and Men’ because of a poem
which inspired him by Robert Burns. Steinbeck wrote ‘Of Mice and Men’
hoping that future generations would realise the difficulties millions
of Americans like himself were facing.
The great depression was the cause of all these difficulties. It all
started because of the Wall Street crash (American stock exchange),
this made many businesses go bankrupt and were forced to close down.
Many banks also became bankrupt losing everyone’s savings, so people
were left with no money. Over 15 million Americans became jobless
during the great depression and many were left homeless because they
could not afford to keep the payments of the houses they had rented
out. Some people were left with almost nothing and committed suicide
because of this. The great depression really was a depressing time for
most Americans. The depression caused people to become migrant
workers, they had to leave home to find work. Families were split up
and many men and women became very lonely. We learn a lot about life
on the ranch during the great depression from Steinbeck’s novel.
Life on the ranch was a very unfriendly place. This was due to the men
moving around from place to place trying to find work. The men on the
ranch usually worked on a seasonal basis for example the whole summer.
As the men did not work for long friendships could not be formed, it
was very unlikely for men to form friendship. If they did, they would
not have lasted long because one of the friends would soon leave, and
leave the other behind. An example of this from the book is when Whit
talked about his friend Bill Tenner when he saw his article in a
magazine. Whit said “Don’t you remember Bill Tenner?” This showed that
Whit and Bill were friends because only he can remember him while
others could not.
As there were no friendships, this also brought on mistrust (and lack
of privacy between the workers). This lack of trust between the
workers caused violence and fights to break out. For example when
Curley first met Lennie in the barn he did not like him, and later on
he challenged Lennie to a fight, Lennie broke very bone in Curley’s
hand. Slim (Lennie and George’s barley bucking captain of their team)
said “We got to get him to a doctor…Looks…like ever’ bone in his band
is bust”, this was after Lennie let go of Curley’s fist.
There was a big...