Of Mice and Men Context Assignment

Created by: Avery Power

John Steinbeck - Author of "Of mice and Men"

John Steinbeck was born on February 27 , 1902 and his father was county treasurer and his mother was a school teacher, who also shared a love for writing like John. He was one to notice things and noticed the harsh lives that migrants, which supplied him with information used in "Of Mice and Men". His writing career started early about when he was 14. He attended high school and collage but, left collage without a diploma. While working as a caretaker and tour guide in California, he met his first wife and attempted to make money from making mannequins. He published three novels between 1929-1933.


Soon after that, Steinbeck start writing "California Novels" which were based off of people during the Great Depression. Of Mice and Men was on of those novella. In the book, John expresses different dreams that were mentioned by commoners during his time of collected information. Each character emphasizes a different typical dream for the 20th century time period. John Steinbeck, 1962, won the Nobel Prize and then later died in 1968 but, left us with incredible novels.

American Dream

The idea of the American Dream has changed over the course of time, and includes both personal pieces (such as ownership of a home, etc.) and global vision. Dating back to 1774, the idea of the American Dream came about in pioneer life. They thought of the American Dream to be “the Lands further off are still better than those upon which they are already settled in.” The Americans believed that the American Dream was the land more out westward and the “good land of the unknown.”


Another idea given to what the American Dream was is the German point of view in the 19th century. They believed that the American Dream was political freedom and “hierarchical or aristocratic society” that determined the limitation for one's individual aspirations. They came into a free country that is the total opposite of what they are coming from which makes them think they are living the dream when in fact, to many people, they are. The American Dream that is mentioned in the book is the American Dream 20th century version which is the century that is set in the book. In the 20th century an American Dream could be having no prejudice anymore toward race of a person, that dream could be from someone of any race in America or that is coming to America.

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The Great Depression

The Great Depression was the deepest and longest-lasting economical downturn. The Depression began soon after the stock market crash which sent Wall Street into a panic and wiped out thousands of investors. When the Great Depression hit its highest point some 13 to 15 million citizens were unemployed and nearly half the countries banks were shut down. The Great Depression ended around 1939 and when World War 2 started the American industry into high gear.