Of mice and men by john steinbeck
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Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Introduction. John Steinbeck. Born February 27, 1902 – Salinas, CA (Died 1968) Grandson of German and Irish immigrants Father and Grandfather – independent businessmen (flour mill) Mother was the daughter of a CA rancher She was a schoolteacher

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Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

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Of mice and men by john steinbeck

Of Mice and Menby John Steinbeck

Introduction


John steinbeck

John Steinbeck

  • Born February 27, 1902 – Salinas, CA (Died 1968)

    • Grandson of German and Irish immigrants

    • Father and Grandfather – independent businessmen (flour mill)

    • Mother was the daughter of a CA rancher

      • She was a schoolteacher

  • Family was well-cultured

    • Books were prized possessions


Early years

Early Years

  • John always wanted to be a writer

  • Made all “B”s in school

    • Went to Stanford University

      • Dropped out after 5 years – didn’t graduate

  • Moved to NY when he was 23

    • Unsuccessful – moved back to CA

  • Married Carol Henning in 1930

    • Divorced in 1942


Success

Success!

  • Tortilla Flats – 1935

    • Wife Carol supported them both while he wrote

  • Of Mice and Men – 1937

    • Financial and critical success

    • Produced on Broadway

      • Drama Critics’ Circle Award

  • The Grapes of Wrath – 1939

    • Pulitzer Prize Winner

  • Nobel Prize for Literature - 1962


Historical context

Historical Context

  • The Great Depression (1929)

    • Labor struggles in California (farming)

    • Mechanical combines replaced workers

  • Migrant workers partially unemployed – climate of farming

    • Max earnings $400/year – average $300/year

    • 1910 – foreign low wage workers

  • “Bindle-stiffs”

    • Single, white men – follow the harvest

    • No unions

    • WWII


Themes

Themes

  • Idealism vs. Reality

  • Alienation and Loneliness

    • Race and Racism

  • Class Conflict

    • Unfeeling, modern, materialistic society

  • Mental Disability

    • Separation, rejection

  • Friendship

  • Loyalty


Style

Style

  • Point of View

    • Objective

    • 3rd person - impersonal

  • Setting

    • California’s Salinas Valley – Agriculture

    • The Great Depression

  • Symbolism

    • Safety = riverbank, rabbits, dreams

  • Foreshadowing


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