Presentation on theme: "OF MICE AND MEN By John Steinbeck. JOHN STEINBECK Born in Salinas, California in 1902. His most famous books were written in the 1930s & 1940s and are."— Presentation transcript:
OF MICE AND MEN By John Steinbeck
JOHN STEINBECK Born in Salinas, California in His most famous books were written in the 1930s & 1940s and are set in California. Steinbeck’s books deal with working class people yearning for a better life. Steinbeck performed well at high school but left university (after five years!) without a degree. Much of the inspiration for his novels comes from life experience – labouring jobs, real incidents (pitchfork). Married three times – distrust of women. His final marriage was a happy one. (1902 – 1968)
“[The boys] were unconsciously glad [the wife] wasn’t there. The kind of woman who put paper on shelves and had little towels like that instinctively distrusted Mack and the boys. Such women knew that they were the worst threats to a home, for they offered ease and thought and companionship as opposed to neatness, order, and properness. They were very glad she was away.” ’Cannery Row’, Steinbeck
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE GREAT DEPRESSION? HINT: WE’RE NOT TALKING ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS.
THE GREAT DEPRESSION 24 October, 1929, panic overtook the New York Stock Exchange, causing a collapse of share prices (war debts). This in turn caused the economic collapse known as the Great Depression – by 1932 over 100,000 businesses and thousands of banks had failed. People’s jobs and money were lost. Lasted roughly from 1930 until the USA’s entry into the Second World War in 1941.
No welfare. No social security. Hardly any help from the state. Families did not have enough food. People were made homeless. Banks foreclosed on loans. WHAT DID THE GREAT DEPRESSION MEAN FOR EVERYDAY PEOPLE?
Farmers who could not afford their loan repayments were driven off their farms by banks. Situations were worsened by huge droughts that swept the farmland; carrying off the topsoil and turning the land into desert. DUST BOWL
Homeless workers, now migrants, travelled to California in search of work. Due to the abundance of men looking for jobs, employers could take their pick and pay them low wages. Life was hard. THE GREAT AMERICAN DREAM
WHAT IS THE GREAT AMERICAN DREAM?
“A chicken in every pot, and a car in every garage.” – President Herbert Hoover (who was president just before the Great Depression occurred) “It’s [the American Dream] the hope that everyone can enjoy life and be successful at it.” –Anonymous. Traditionally, Americans have sought to realise the American dream of success, fame and wealth through courage, determination and hard work. California! THE GREAT AMERICAN DREAM
Accommodation was primitive and unsanitary. People who did not find work were constantly at risk of disease and starvation. People’s senses of being were changed – they were not ‘farm men’ any more, but ‘migrant men’. They were no longer connected to the land. An obvious link from this is to George’s yearning for his own land. He feels no connection working for other people. MIGRANTS’ LIFESTYLES
Go online and research the Great Depression. Write a paragraph detailing the following (200 words): What was the Great Depression? What would life have been like for a migrant like Lenny or George? How does this link to the American Dream? Hint: Great Depression = Loss, American Dream = Hope. CLASS TASK: