Of Mice and Men

By Tori Fuchs and Jess Lang

The Great Depression

The Great Depression was the most severe worldwide economic depression. This took place during the 1930's. The Great Depression was the longest most widespread depression of the 20th century. It started in the United States on September 4th, 1929 after a fall in stock prices. An event know as Black Tuesday was on October 29th, 1929 when the stock market crashed. Worldwide GDP fell about 15% in between the years of 1929 and 1932. When the economy wasn't doing "well" in 2008-2009 the worldwide GDP fell 1%, this was called the Great Recession. Some economies recovered in the mid 1930's. Other countries were in the Great Depression until the beginning of World War II. International traded plunged more than 50%. Tax revenue, personal income, profits and prices dropped. The U.S. unemployment rate reached 25%. Some other countries had unemployment rates as high as 33%. Construction halted in many countries. Rural areas suffered greatly as crop prices fell about 60%.

John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck was an author of twenty seven books including, sixteen novels, six non-fiction books, and five collections of short stories. He is known to be attributed as part of the American literary canon. Steinbeck's works are considered classics of Western literature. A lot of his works are known to have themes like humanity, friendship, loneliness, desire etc. He portrayed many of the feelings and emotions people all around the world were dealing with as he wrote during The Great Depression. Steinbeck's first book was published 1929, at the start of it all. His first big seller was Tortilla Flat followed by a couple of his next most popular books including In Dubious Battle, The Red Pony, and Of Mice and Men. The novel Of Mice and Men was special because it is focused on The Great Depression. To summarize the book it's about the relationship of two itinerant ranch workers, the ambitious George and the strong but simple-minded Lenny, whose dreams are crushed by events beyond their control. To this day Of Mice and Men is John Steinbeck's biggest success.
Mini Bio: John Steinbeck

The American Dream

The American Dream is the ideal that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work and determination. James Truslow Adams had written a book in 1931 called The Epic of America. His book stated that the American dream is "that dream of a land in which life should be better, richer, and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position." The authors of the United States Declaration of Independence had stated that "All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." Many believe that this statement started the American Dream.
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