Of Mice and Men
A Glance Into the History behind the infamous Novel
The Great Depression
The Great Depression was a significant economic disaster that occurred in the United States during the 1930's. The Depression peaked around 1932-1933 and this is when our economic standing was at its all time low. This all started on October 29th 1929 when the United States Stock Exchange crashed due to investors trading 16 million dollars of shares in one day. Billions and billions of dollars were lost and thousands of investors were completely annihilated by the damage. Little did they know that his day caused the greatest and longest economic downfall in the history of the western world. By 1932 stocks were only worth 20% of their previous price and by 1933 half of America's Banks had failed. The moral in America had erratically diminished but the "American dream" ideal of living became almost a glimmer of hope. The country has nowhere to go but up...
The American Dream
James Truslow Adams, a historian in the 1930's coined the expression "The American Dream" while writing about the ideal of living in a free country. Adams believed that the economy and the American way of life would be restored with time. Wikipedia describes the American Dream as "a national ethos of the US, the set of ideals (Democracy, Rights, Liberty, Opportunity, and Equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers." I believe that if The American Dream made its way through the Great Depression, it still exists today.The dream of having inalienable rights and a stable government who handle the dangers and threats of the everyday world is still a dream for some people. The hope and will power it gave the citizens of other countries as well as America during this time is incredible. Adams incite into the American dream has proven that the dream is not only materialistic but full of symbolism and based on humane morals.
John Steinbeck had been an aspiring writer from the time he was a kid. He knew it would be his career in the end. But, to please his parents he went through schooling at Stanford University starting in 1919. After drifting in an out of his studies he finally dropped out in 1925 without a degree. John moved to New York briefly and worked as a manual laborer until his career as an author took of in 1935 when he wrote the book Tortilla Flat. The book was a comical interpretation of a life as a peasant. In the following years after he became a well known author he published a collection of novellas (Dubious Battle (1936), Of Mice and Men(1937), and The Long Valley(1938)) which all have a serious tone. Some say that Steinbeck's most famous and well written book is The Grapes of Wrath(1939). This novel was written during a time where everyone in America was struggling financially and emotionally. He wrote the story of a small family from Oklahoma trying to adapt to the California life style while struggling to achieve greatness in the peak of the Depression. John Steinbeck wrote with compassion and empathy causing the book to sell over 10,000 copies a week in the peak of its time. Steinbeck received an award for his greatest work. He continued to write in his later years and eventually received a Nobel prize for he work.
Mini Bio: John Steinbeck