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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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Presentation Transcript
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