Of Mice and Men

By: James Maine and Corina Pelkey-Landes

The Great Depression

What Happened?

The Great Depression was a major economic set back that affected the entire world. It started in most countries in 1929 and lasted till the late 1930s. It all started with the crash of the American stock market on Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929. The depression spread throughout the world, but it hit the hardest in America. Unemployment rose 607% in the States compared to the 232% in Germany. The value of the dollar in 1932 is nearly worth 17 times less than today's dollar.




Many significant pieces of American literature were written during the Great Depression or are placed during the Great Depression. Authors interpret and evaluate an era that has caused financial and emotional trauma. These novels and novellas tell stories of families evicted from their homes. As well as tales of growing up in an era of negative change. Many characters a forced to move from their home town to find new jobs, in new places.


The American Dream

What is "The American Dream?"

"The American Dream" is the national ethos of the United States. It is the idea that all US citizens should have an equal opportunity to be successful and achieve prosperity by working hard, being determined, and having initiative. It is a set of ideals that include Democracy, Rights, Liberty, Opportunity and Equality. The beliefs of the American Dream can be found in the Declaration of Independence where it mentions our unalienable Rights that include Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
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Redefining the Dream

Although most people still believe in the American Dream, they also feel like the nature of the dream is changing. They feel that our current American Dream is too focused on self actualization and personal fulfillment. The redefined dream would emphasize community, ecological sustainability,and a celebration of non-material values. By doing this, we would be upholding the traditional dream life of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

John Steinbeck

Early Life

John Steinbeck was an American Novelist whose books dealt with social and economic issues. He was born February 27th, 1902 in Salinas California. He was quite shy but very smart. His father was a handy man and his mother was a school teacher. They raised John and his three sisters to be very modest. After dropping out of college, John worked as a manual laborer.


One of John's most well known novels is entitled The Grapes of Wrath. The book was so successful that it won both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. Some of his other novels include Cup of Gold, The Pastures of Heaven, To a God Unknown, and Of Mice and Men. Toward the end of his career, John served as a war correspondent during World War II. This awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. John Steinbeck passed away while visiting New York City in 1968
Check Out John's speech when he won the Nobel Prize!
John Steinbeck gives Nobel Prize Speech