INTRODUCTION and HISTORICAL CONTEXT Mrs. Caruso English 10 : OF MICE AND MEN by John Steinbeck

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Text of INTRODUCTION and HISTORICAL CONTEXT Mrs. Caruso English 10 : OF MICE AND MEN by John Steinbeck

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  • INTRODUCTION and HISTORICAL CONTEXT Mrs. Caruso English 10 : OF MICE AND MEN by John Steinbeck
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  • LO: to understand the background to the novel Starter What are your impressions of America? Write down three statements.
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  • Watch this short clipthis 1.Describe the faces of the people in the film 2.Why were so many of them queuing? 3.What kind of work were the men looking for? 4.How would you describe their lives?
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  • 1930s: MASS UNEMPLOYMENT 5. What words does this newspaper use to show how bad the situation was?
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  • THE GREAT DEPRESSION! On Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, the stock market crashed, triggering the Great Depression, the worst economic collapse in the history of the modern industrial world. It spread from the United States to the rest of the world, lasting from the end of 1929 until the early 1940s. With banks failing and businesses closing, more than 15 million Americans (one-quarter of the workforce) became unemployed.
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  • THE FARMERS To make matters worse America was hit by a series of droughts and many farms could no longer operate. 6. Describe the picture using sight, sound and feel. 7. How would the droughts mean there was more unemployment?
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  • Historical Context The depression also led to a drop in the market price of farm crops, which meant that farmers were forced to produce more goods in order to earn the same amount of money.
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  • WHAT DID THEY DO?. People heard that in California the soil was still good and there was plenty of room and opportunity for work. 8. If you were a farmer from Oklahoma in the 1930s what would you do?
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  • The Dust Bowl The increase in farming activity across the Great Plains states caused the precious soil to erode. This erosion, coupled with a seven-year drought that began in 1931, turned once fertile grasslands into a desert like region known as the Dust Bowl.
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  • 9. Pick one of these images and imagine you are in the picture. Write a short paragraph describing how you feel.
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  • Dust Bowl Plains
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  • The History of Migrant Farmers in California During the Great Depression, economic and ecological forces (the Dust Bowl) brought many rural poor and migrant agricultural workers from the Great Plains states, such as Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas, to California.
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  • The American Dream Hundreds of thousands of farmers packed up their families and few belongings, and headed for California, which, for numerous reasons, seemed like a promised land. The states mild climate promised a longer growing season and, with soil favourable to a wider range of crops, it offered more opportunities to harvest.
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  • is shattered!! Despite these promises, very few found it to be the land of opportunity and plenty of which they dreamed.
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  • Wrap up Making predictions: Consider what we have looked at and discussed this lesson. This is the America that the novella Of Mice and Men is set in. Look at the image of a front cover What do you think this novella will be about? Write down three statements.
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  • What is the American Dream? America has always been seen as the Land of Opportunity, partly because immigrants from Europe saw it as a place of freedom, a place to begin a new life, a place for real possibilities and wealth for all. This belief in America as a country where ordinary people could create a better life for themselves is often referred to as The American Dream
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  • This was the start of the Great Depression that would affect the whole world during the 1930s. The dream did survive for individuals. 1000s made their way west to California to escape farmlands of the mid-west. George and Lennie dreamed of their Little house and a couple of acres. The growing popularity of the cinema was the last American Dream for many.
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  • Historical Timeline Financial Crash Banks, Factories close, farming collapses 1929 1931 1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes president. 1936 The New Deal - support for unemployment. 1937 Of Mice and Men is published.
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  • About The Author John Steinbeck was born in 1902 in Salinas, California, a region that became the setting for much of his fiction, including Of Mice and Men. As a teenager, he spent his summers working as a hired hand on neighbouring ranches, where his experiences of rural California and its people impressed him deeply.
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  • John Steinbeck He wrote the book Of Mice and Men in 1936 Like Of Mice and Men many of his books deal with the lives and problems of working people. Many of his characters in his books are immigrants who went to California looking for work or a better life.
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  • American Dream in Of Mice and Men Steinbeck wanted to explore the themes of power, ownership and control and their effect upon ordinary people. Those people strived for a better life, and had hopes and dreams The two main characters, Lennie and Georges dream is significant because it tells us something about the culture that has created them.
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  • Steinbeck's novels can all be classified as, social novels dealing with the economic problems of rural labor.
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  • The Title The title comes from a poem by a Scottish poet Robert Burns. The best laid schemes o mice and men Gang aft agley (often go wrong) And leave us nought but grief and pain For promised joy!
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  • So Why The Title Of Mice and Men? Inspired by a poem written by Robert Burns:- From the poem: The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men / Gang aft agley Meaning: No matter how hard or well we plan for something, our plans can often fail to become reality...or worse, they can end up going terribly wrong. What 3 predictions can you make about the book from this poem alone? Write them down. 1. 2. 3.
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  • Fact or Fiction? Although Of Mice and Men is a fictional story it is deeply rooted in historical fact. The high unemployment resulted in many people travelling to find work. They could be hired and fired at the boss will (farm owners were very powerful) The writer is delegated to declare and to celebrate man's proven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit - for gallantry in defeat, for courage, compassion and love. I hold that a writer who does not believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature. In your journals, discuss what you think John Steinbeck means by this quote: