Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck - born in California to a weathy family but was interested in the lives of farm labourers. He worked alongside them and used his experiances to write several novels about their lives.
Wall Street Crash - 29th October 1929. Led to depression in America, and across the world. Mass shortage of money (hyperinflation), food and work. Many people became unemployed, banks went bust meaning people lost any savings they had. Many people made homeless.
Migrant Farmers - Wall Street Crash meant that no one had any money, farmers also suffered because of a series of droughts - led to dried up land and failed harvests. Farmers couldn't pay their loans back to the bank and so had to sell their land and move away. Lots of the migrant farmers headed to California hoping there would be spare land there. However they were turned away because locals feared they would be over run. With no where to go many migrants stayed in hude camps in the Californian valleys and tried to find work as casual farmhands.
Ranch Hands - (Like Lennie and George) Low pay, but they were fed. Felt lucky to have work, and were grateful for the bunkhouses where they could sleep.
EXAMPLE: In Of Mice and Men, all the ranch hands in the buckhouse agree to stay quiet about the fight showing that they understand that if the boss were to find out, and George and Lennie lost their jobs, then they would struggle to find another and would be left with nothing.
Overview: George and Lennie are forced to flee their last job, the novel starts with them preparing to arrive at the ranch to work. Just four days later the novel ends in tragedy, after Lennie makes yet another serious mistake. Told in the third person, giving us an unbiased clear view of the entire situation.
Chapter One - Night before starting new jobs as ranch hands, George and Lennie camp beside a "narrow pool". George finds Lennie stroking a dead mouse in his pocket, he then complains that his life could be much simpler if he didn't have to care for Lennie all the time. "When I think of the swell time I could have without you, I go nuts. I never get no peace." We find out they lost their last job in Weed over Lennie innocently trying to feel a girls dress, but the girl got the wrong impression. "Jus' wanted to feel that girl's dress - jus' wanted to pet it like it was a mouse - Well, how the hell did she know you jus' wanted to feel her dress?" The chapter ends with them disscussing their dream, which shows just how much they depend on each other and how strong their friendship is. "Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the lonelist guys in the world... They ain't got nothing to look ahead to... With us it ain't like…