Of Mice and Men Flyer
By: David Scavuzzo
The Great Depression
The crash was caused by stock prices continuing to rise during the usual summer recession, when consumer spending lessens and product productions slows. The prices kept rising, until on October 24, 1929, investors started to sell their stock en masse. This lead to millions of shares becoming worthless and investors going into debt. The Depression spread across the globe due to the gold standard, which linked countries in a fixed currency exchange. This eventually led to the rise of Nazism in Germany, and the Second World War.
The American Dream
The idea of the American Dream actually started with the prospect of the frontier life, as people were trying to live on better land than the land on which they settled. It has evolved to the goal of people gaining prosperity through doing hard work. It also calls for children to receive a good education, and for them to make decisions that aren't affected by their race, class, religion, or ethnicity. The ideal that the U.S. is a land of opportunity majorly affects the American Dream, as it can be the hope of gaining a better life than one had in a different nation.
The Grapes of Wrath was inspired by the mistreatment of migrant farmers who were traveling to California due to the Dust Bowl (major droughts in the Midwest during the 1930s). The migrants were underpaid because of the abundance of workers, and this led to underemployment and poverty among the migrant workers. They had horrible living arrangements, and many were starving. Steinbeck reported on these issues in The Harvest Gypsies, a series of articles he wrote for the San Francisco News in 1936.