1.1.1 Married women were the property of their husbands,
young unmarried women who were not prostitutes
presented a temptation and threat to itinerant work
hands looking for solace and company.
1.1.2 The portrayal of women is limited and unflattering,
We learn early on that Lennie and George are on the
run from the previous ranch where they worked, due
to encoutering trouble there with a women.
Misunderstanding Lennie's love of soft things, a
women accused him of rape for touching her dress.
George berates Lennie for his behaviour, but is
convinced that women are the cause of such
trouble. Thier enciting sexualtity, he belives, tempts
men to behave in ways they would otherwise not.
2 The treatment of Blacks
3 The treatment of the disabled
3.1 No benefits, rights, those who are impaired in
some way, Crooks, Candy, Lennie, - their only
hope is that they are taken in by someone such
as george or a permenant place at the ranch
4.1 Boss + Ranch hands
4.1.1 After World War I, economic and ecological forces brought many rural
poor and migrant agricultural workers from the Great Plains states,
such as California. Following World War I, a recession led to a drop in
the market price of farm crops, which meant that farmers were forced
to produce more goods in order to earn the same amount of money.
4.1.2 To meet this demand for increased productivity, many farmers bought
more land and invested in agricultural equipment, which put them in
debt. The stock market crash of 1929 made matters worse. Unable to
pay their creditors, many farmers lost their property and were forced
to find other work. But doing so proved difficult.
4.1.3 Hundreds of thousands of farmers packed up their families and few
belongings, and headed for California. Migrant workers came to be
known as Okies, for 20% of the farmers were originally from Oklahoma.
Okies were often met with scorn (worthlessness) by California farmers
and natives, which only made their poverty more unpleasant.
4.1.4 The increase in farming activity across the Great
Plains states caused the precious soil to erode.
This erosion, coupled with a seven-year drought
that began in 1931, turned once fertile grasslands
into a desertlike region known as the Dust Bowl.
5 John Steinbeck
5.1 John Steinbeck was born in 1902 in
Salinas, California, a region that
became the setting for much of his
fiction, including Of Mice and Men. As a
teenager, he spent his summers
working as a hired hand on
neighboring ranches, where his
experiences of rural California and its
people impressed him deeply. In 1919,
he enrolled at Stanford University,
where he studied intermittently for the
next six years before finally leaving
without having earned a degree.
6 Biblical refrences
6.1 Steinbeck uses some biblical imagery. This comes from the Christian Holy Book, the Bible, mostly the
Old Testament Creation Myth in Genesis. These are most noticeable in Chapters One and Six, the first
and last chapters. The links, or symbols, are not exact. They are like echoes. Biblical symbols in Of Mice
and Men: the beautiful natural landscape > the garden of Eden, God’s garden > a place of safety,
beauty, the setting of man’s first SIN (or crime). Eden is later invaded by evil. Evil is represented by a
snake. There is a snake in the first and last chapters of Of Mice and Men. In the final chapter, the snake
is eaten. In the Bible, the snake represents sin, evil, the devil, death. Before the first man commits a sin,
he is innocent and childlike. Like Lennie. The snake is killed just before Lennie is killed. Evil is removed.
But so is Lennie's innocence.