Events and Concepts
Used to understand the novel Of Mice and Men
Created By: Alex Gonsalves
The Great Depression
The Great Depression, which lasted from 1929-1939, was the longest lasting economical downfall in the history of the Western world. The event began shortly after the crash of the stock markets in October of 1929. The stock market crash made Wall Street panic and wiped out millions of investors. Consumer spending and investment declined quickly over the next couple of years, causing less industrial output and unemployment levels rising as many of the companies laid off employees. When the Great Depression had hit its lowest point in 1933, 13 to 15 million Americans were unemployed and almost half of the country’s banks had failed. Even though at the time President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, helped lessen the effects of the Great Depression, the economy wouldn’t turn completely around until 1939.
A program that aided in the recovery from the Great Depression was the Tennessee Valley Authority, or TVA. To help, they built dams and hydroelectric projects to control flooding and provide electric power to the poor town. The Works Project Administration was a permanent jobs program that employed over 8.5 million people between the years of 1935-1943. The issue was finally resolved when Congress passed the Social Security Act. This act provided Americans with unemployment, disability, and pensions for old age.
The American Dream
Some may see the American dream as having a lot of wealth, big, fancy houses, and other "shiny" things.
Many people believe that the American Dream is one that "... emphasizes community, ecological sustainability, and a celebration of non-material values, while upholding the spirit of the traditional American dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Others believe that the American Dream is to succeed in your career and to do what you love.
For example, in Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck uses themes such as friendship, loneliness, and being an outcast. To some people, this book might seem appealing to them if they relate to any of the themes.
John Steinbeck had used these themes to make his writing stand out and emphasize certain points that he was trying to show. Given the fact that his writing pieces are still read throughout the world today, I think putting all of his effort into his books was worth it.