Of Mice and Men Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck The (often banned) Naturalism/Modernism story of two migrant farm workers: their dreams, friendship,

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  • Of Mice and Men by John SteinbeckThe (often banned) Naturalism/Modernism story of two migrant farm workers: their dreams, friendship, and struggle to survive in depression era California.

  • When: 1930s, Depression EraWhere: South of Soledad, CAFarm Country; based on Steinbecks experiencesM&Ms Setting

  • The Fields of Salinas, California

  • Historical Background: Migrant WorkersBefore technology created farm machinery, humans had to do a lot of the farm work by hand.Between the 1880s and the 1930s thousands of men would travel the countryside in search of work.Such work included the harvesting of wheat.

  • These workers would earn $2.50 or $3.00 a day, plus food and shelter.During the 1930s, the unemployment rate was high in the U.S., and with so many men searching for work, agencies were set up to send farm workers to where they were needed.In the novel, George and Lennie (the two main characters) were given work cards from Murray and Readys, which was one of the farm work agencies.

  • The American DreamWhat is your definition?

  • The American DreamFrom the 17th Century onwards, immigrants have dreamed of a better life in America.Many people immigrated to America in search of a new life for themselves or their families.Many others immigrated to escape persecution or poverty in their homeland.

  • American Dream contdThese immigrants dreamed of making their fortunes in America. For many this dream of riches became a nightmare. there were horrors of slavery, there were horrors of the American Civil War, there was a growing number of slums that were just as bad as those in Europe there was also great corruption in the American political system which led to manyshattered hopes

  • This era affected the whole world during the 1930s, but even in the midst of hardship, some peoples dreams survived.

    Thousands of people made their way west towards California to escape from their farmlands in the mid-West that were failing due to drought.

    The characters of George and Lennie dreamt of having a little house and a couple of acres which was their own dream.

  • The idea of an American Dream for many was broken when on October 24th 1929, the Wall Street crashed, marking the beginning of the Great DepressionPanic lead to the deepest economic depression the nation had ever knownLasted until 1939, when WWII broke outCauses included loss of foreign markets, a farm depression, lack of buying power for most peopleEffects: Businesses went bankrupt, banks closed, factories shut down, farms were foreclosed upon1 in 4 were unemployed in 1933Great Depression

  • Titles AllusionTo A Field MouseOn turning up her nest with the plough, Nov, 1785

    Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim'rous beastie, O, what panic's in thy breastie! Thou need na start awa sae hasty, Wi' bickering brattle! I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee, Wi' murd'ring pattle!I'm truly sorry Man's dominion Has broken Nature's social union, An' justifies that ill opinion, Which makes thee startle, At me, thy poor, earth-born companion, An' fellow-mortal! I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve; What then? poor beastie, thou maun live! A daimen-icker in a thrave 'S a sma' request: I'll get a blessin wi' the lave, An' never miss't! Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin! It's silly wa's the win's are strewin! An' naething, now, to big a new ane, O' foggage green! An' bleak December's winds ensuin, Baith snell an' keen! Thou saw the fields laid bare an' wast, An' weary Winter comin fast, An' cozie here, beneath the blast, Thou thought to dwell, Till crash! the cruel coulter past Out thro' thy cell.

    That wee-bit heap o' leaves an' stibble, Has cost thee monie a weary nibble! Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble, But house or hald. To thole the Winter's sleety dribble, An' cranreuch cauld! But Mousie, thou are no thy-lane, In proving foresight may be vain: The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley, An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain, For promis'd joy! Still, thou art blest, compar'd wi' me! The present only toucheth thee: But Och! I backward cast my e'e, On prospects drear! An' forward, tho' I canna see, I guess an' fear!

    by Robert Burns

    But Mouse, you are not alone, In proving foresight may be pointless: The best planned schemes of Mice an' Men, Often go awry, And leave us nothing but grief and pain, Instead of promised joy!