Of Mice And Men

John Steinbeck, The Great Depression and The American Dream

John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck was not a rich man. He decided to become a writer at a very early age. He would lock himself in his room and write poems for hours. In 1919 he enrolled in Stanford University for the sake of his parents, but college proved little use for the budding writer. In his early career he moved to New York City as a freelance writer. During the next decade, he was able to pour himself into his writing with the support of his wife's paycheck.

He released many novels following his first Cup Of Gold. He released his most famous novel Grapes Of Wrath in 1939. It was his most ambitious novel, which went on to win a Pulitzer Prize for that book in 1940. In total the book sold over 10,000 copies a week. He eventually went on to write for the New York Herald Tribune during World War II.

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The Great Depression

The Great Depression was the deepest and longest lasting economic crisis in all of U.S. history. It started in the U.S. when the stock market crashed in the fall of 1929. The stock market crash only lasted for four days but it was still the most devastating crash in the history of the United States. It sent investors into a panic, people everywhere lost millions. 30% of market value was lost. Spending stopped and the economy plummeted. The unemployment rates were through the roof. At the peak of the Great Depression in 1933, there were around 15 million Americans unemployed. The confidence that is required for a successful economy was lost.
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The American Dream

The American Dream in a nutshell is the ideals America was funded on. These ideals say the everyone should have an equal opportunity to be successful and prosperous if they work hard and are determined. It is something that is viewed differently by everyone. It still has the same ideas just interpretation is varied. We included a video below that further explains the American Dream and a few ways of viewing it.
What is the American Dream?
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