John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California in 1902. Although his family was wealthy, he was interested in the lives of the farm labourers and spent time working with them. He used his experiences as material for his writing, because he was interested in these people they influnced his writing and so he wrote a number of books about these poor people who had dreams that were not likly to come true. A few examples are:
The Grapes of Wrath - A story of a familys struggle to escape the west and reach california
Of Mice and Men - A story of two mans friendship as they batted hardships to attempt to achive their combined dream of owning a farm.
In october of 1929 the country lost millions of dollars and left may out of jobs this lead to an increase in ranch workers and hard times.
About 15 million men and women were left penniless and unemployed this was about one third of the whole country. As there were so many and teh land was os short they all headed towards California hoping to find work and food, however because of teh sheer number of people arriving many were turned back due to the californians beiing scared that there would be an 'over-run'.
As there was no where elso to go after they had been turned away they surronded california and worked on the farms taht surronded them as mere ranch hand or migrant farm workers. the pay was not high but the workers were happy to get what they did out of gratitued and also becasue they were provided with a bed and food for free.
How it comes into the story
Releating the Context to the Story
As george and lennie are ranch hands they feel lucky enough to be granted somewhere to work and that is why george does not want Lennie to speak to the boss because he is scared teh boss will turn him down due to the discrimination and selection that the boss could chose from.
Anouther example is how the men agree to hush-up the fight between Curley and Lennie and claim that Curley got his hand caught in a machine: they know that Lennie and George would be fired if the boss came to hear of it, and then Lennie and George could be left with nothing.