John Steinbeck & The Depression
- born in Salinas, California in 1902.
- from a wealthy family but was interested in the lives of labourers and so spent time working with them.
- wrote other books such as 'The Grapes of Wrath' about people who dreamed of better lives.
- October 1929 = Wall Street Crash.
- It crippled the country from 1930-1936.
- food shortages throughout the country.
- settlements known as hoovervilles.
- droughts in the South.
- Ranch hands got paid less.
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George & Lennie
- Loyal to lennie 1) tells him to behave 2) makes him have food and water
- Doesn't always be gentle to him
- No problem of his own
- - smart so can get work.
- - believes in the dream farm.
- Realistic character 1) normal guy 2) sympathy ofr him
- Dream keeps him going 1) dream dies with lennie
- Huge grown man 1) childlike 2) condition not expalained 3) soft things
- Animalistic 1) eats/drinks 2) 'drags his paws' 3) follows George around.
- Depends on George 1) can't survive on his own. 2) good worker
- Cunning 1) gets George to talk about dream farm
- Killer 1) nicest 2) attacks Curley's wife 3) fear into anger.
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Slim & Candy & Curley
- lead-mule driver.
- natural leader and everyone looks up to him.
- he has quiet dignity, doesn't need to assert himself to have authority.
- "His authority was so great that his word was taken on any subject, be it politics or love."
- seems harmless but gets angry when plans ae ruined.
- weak/disabled and gets left behind and believs in dream farm.
- old/useless like dog.
- small - hates big guys - he is a prize fighter and looks to fight.
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Crooks and Curleys Wife
- has his own room (small, basic) and has his own privacy.
- only black man in the book.
- he is lonely - jealous of George & Lennie and offers to work for them for free and then is part of something.
- Main woman
- men worry because she is flirty.
- called 'rattrap' because she is a threat.
- wears a lot of make up and red lips which is like the red dress in Weed.
- she is lonely.
- pretends to be looking for Curley but she's looking for attention.
- Sympathy felt towards her.
- Typical life of a woman in the 1930's.
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- George says that ranchers are the loneliest people in the world.
- lonely by race and by gender.
- friendship ends in disaster.
- Curley's wife tries to be friends with the ranches but leads to her death.
- Animals are temporary friends : the dog, mice.
- ' I get awful lonely' (Page 122)
- 'can't talk to nobody but Curley' (Page 123)
- = he holds her back.
- = married to escape life she had but she is trapped again
- ' He gets mad'
- = asserts authority
- = no love from him.
- ' Guy goes nuts' (Page 105)
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- Crooks shows black society, use of '******' which is a derogitory term.
- lives in barn = animalistic rights.
- ' Nobody ain't got any rights' (Page 100)
- 'difficult to conceal pleasure with anger.." (Page 107)
- 'thin-lipped' (Page 99) - suppressed and little opportunity to speak.
- 'Crooks spoke irritably' (Page 107) = adverbs (scornfully, daring)
- Curley's wife = main character who's female.
- no name - possession, no individuality.
- socially/financially dependent and is trapped.
- 'couldn't get no-where' (Page 124) 'full rouged lips' (Page 53)
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- American Dream : not attainable.
- All their dreams are doomed.
- ' Baloney! ' (Page 112) to the dream.
- ' It's just like heaven - nobody gets to heave, nobody gets land' (Page 106)
- 'I think....' (Page 131 - George said it would have not worked, referring to the dream.
- mentality in this society is, if you are old, you have no use.
- 'old, candy'= derived by age.
- 'dog is old' = like Candy (Page 80)
- 'looks hopelessly' (Page 72) = not as important as younger.
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