The History of Of Mice And Men

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John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California. Steinbeck worked in Spreckles Sugar Company where some of his shifts were in the laboratory which gave him time to write and to start his first literary works. After graduating high school he went to Stanford University to continue his schooling 1919. After six years of practicing his writings at Stanford he left in 1925. He returned to his home of California and five years later he met his soon to be wife Carol Henning and were married in 1930. Steinbeck worked at creating plaster mannequins so that he could try and get money for to live on. In 1930 Steinbeck met Ed Ricketts who will become a mentor and close friend to Steinbeck. In 1948 Ed Ricketts was struck by a train and died only hours before John Steinbeck could see him. On Steinbeck’s return home he found that his second wife wanted a divorce, and three months later they were divorced. The next year Steinbeck met Elaine Scott and they began a relationship and were married in 1950. 18 years later in 1968 John Steinbeck died of Heart Disease and Heart Failure.

John Steinbeck wrote twenty-seven books in his lifetime and was the winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature. Steinbeck would base his novels mostly on injustice in the world and fate. The first success Steinbeck had with writing was Tortilla Flat a novel based on a group of slightly homeless men that reject normal United States society. Steinbeck’s next great novel was Of Mice And Men a novel about two agricultural laborers that dreamed of a better life during the Great Depression. The Grapes of Wrath one of John Steinbeck’s most notable books was about a family that was forced to move from their home because of the Dust Bowl. Steinbeck was one of America’s most known authors.


The Great Depression

The Great depression began with the stock market crash of 1929. On october 24 1929, 12.9 million shares were traded in. Five days later 16 million shares were traded in. This caused many of the shares to become worthless, and the investors who bought stock “on margin” were wiped out. The decrease in lending and investing led factories to close and employees to be laid off. For all who remained employed, their wages fell drastically. By 1930, 4 million Americans were out of work and could not find it. In 1931 that number has climbed to 6 million. Many banks around the world were forced to close down. The banks got loans from the government in hope that the banks would loan that money to businesses so they could hire more employees.

In 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated. during this time the government forced the remaining open banks to close down, and 15 million people became unemployed. President Roosevelt took immediate action once he became president. He called for a four day “bank holiday” so they could pass a reform legislation and the banks could reopen. He also talked directly to the public to help the people regain confidence. In 1934 the economy began to improve and climb. America's GDP climbed 9% per year until climbed until 1936. In 1937 we went through another economic downfall, but that quickly ended in 1938. The depression in America was coming to an end. The Depression not only affected america’s economy but it had a worldwide effect. The depression helped Adolf Hitler rise to power, and World War two.


The American Dream

The American Dream can be a variety of different ideas and hopes. The american dream use to be seen as having a well put together family. Being well educated, and having a well paying job. The idea that anyone can make it, if you work hard enough for it. This stems from immigrants coming to America hoping for a better life. Immigrants came to get education, a job, a family or not to be persecuted for their religion. The American Dream isn't something you can buy, it is something you have to earn.

The American Dream has evolved. The idea is more that you must be born with wealth or acquired a large amount to be happy. The concept that you must have the newest and the best technology. With the invention of the credit card, it allowed americans to buy lavish expenses without saving up the money first. This slingshot the belief that it took money to live the American Dream. The television also helped push this movement. With it’s unrealistic standard for what a happy American family looks like. This put pressure on the public to buy expensive luxuries if they wanted to live the American Dream. These two very different ideals stand for one concept. Which one do you believe is right?