Effect of Great Depression on People in Of Mice and Men

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John Steinbeck is an American writer and he illustrates the working-class conditions during the Great Depression era and of Mice and Men is great example of the loneliness and lack of communication and nearly every character wants a friend in the story and story creates a dream, but it turns into a nightmare people lost their respect and moral values.


John Ernst Steinbeck is an American writer, and he lived during the Great Depression Era. During the Great Depression period socio and economic crisis was the major problem. In of Mice and Men shows us the helplessness of workers who worked hard but still lack of money the people started to migrate because of the people want to survive in their life and most of the characters struggle the harsh economic conditions in the of Mice and Men. Of Mice and Men is story of Lennie and George, two workers and they search for a job and their only dream that to buy an ordinary farm and wants to build a dream create a family, they did not bond the other people like slave because people work many hours and they do not have a real-life and Steinbeck shows us that story very dramatically since Steinbeck also knows the exact harsh condition in his own life and the Great Depression helps the inspiration his writings. Worst economic conditions status directly affects the personality and the emotions every person’s life. Of Mice and Men is singleness of each character, generally because of the Great Depression people lost their home and they do not feel the belonging to a community. Steinbeck shows us to destructive effects of poor economic conditions and his portrayal of characters in economic hardship.

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We see that people can do anything when they must and Of Mice and Men very good example of this issue. Two ordinary labourers try to find a job in the story, and they just want to their own farm because they do not bond with other people. Lennie has a mental illness and during that time there is no residence in community for mentally retarded people like Lennie, there is no social system. “Of Mice and Men is the story of George and Lennie, two ranch workers moving to Salinas Valley in search of job. The only things they possess in the world is one another and the dream of having their own farm “(Asl 3). They only want to have their own farm because George and Lennie always suffer poverty in their life. We always see the that struggle in the Great Depression era. ‘O.K. Someday—we’re gonna get the jack together and we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an’ a cow and some pigs and—’

‘An’ live off the fatta the lan’,’ Lennie shouted. ‘An’ have rabbits. Go on, George! Tell about what we’re gonna have in the garden and about the rabbits in the cages and about the rain in the winter and the stove, and how thick the cream is on the milk like you can hardly cut it. Tell about that George.’

‘Why’n’t you do it yourself? You know all of it.’

‘No…you tell it. It ain’t the same if I tell it. Go on…George. How I get to tend the rabbits.’ (1.119-123)

These lines show us to their basic dream about having an ordinary farm George always search job because of the Lennie’s illness and George’s always concern for taking care of Lennie and George would always refers to Lennie as a problem and, they always lost their jobs but there is no solution they cannot saving enough money. Life is always cruel when conditions are severe, and we can clearly see this very well in the of Mice and Men. Society never helps the substrate in such bad times. John Steinbeck also works numerous jobs for his family, and he works as a construction worker and newspaper reporter, so he also tries to survive the Great Depression period.

Increase of the unemployment people are trying to move from another city in search of job and, they do not get used to one community and solitude major issue in that time. People become solitary but in Of Mice and Men Steinbeck’ demonstrates the loneliness not George and Lenny we also see the other characters are lonely in the story for example Crooks, he is black, and he is living in a ranch nobody loves him during the story and, he also wants to have a friend , Crooks try to talk to Lennie in the story. Other lonely person in the story is Candy he is also having a dream of owning a farm because he is disabled due to accident and his dog also old and useless Carlson shoots it by this reason, he thinks that he should have shot the dog himself this issue like George kills the Lennie in the end. Candy has a dream of owning a farm with George and Lennie, so Candy also suffers from loneliness. Loneliness produce the bad economical condition that the Great Depression-era ”Ain’t many guys travel around together,’ he mused. ‘I don’t know why. Maybe ever ‘body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.” Chapter 2, pg. 35. This quote describes the lonely situation in the farm nearly nobody has family and they just work and save the money. George and Lennie also lonely in the story especially George because of Lennie’s illness George does not feel the real friend for Lennie. In the end George shoots Lennie after that he loses his friends and that economical conditions destroy their dreams.


This essay shows us the destructive effects of economic conditions and affects on the main characters. During the Great Depression, people try to move another place and the lost their home and job and working class affected very harshly. Because of the economical affects people feel the lack of communication and they lost their moral values also respect. John Steinbeck describes the working-class conditions very successfully. Of Mice and Men is great example of the harsh economic conditions and loneliness and how economic causes affects the people in their life.


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