David T. Lai
American Literature Period 7
12 May 2003
How did The Great Depression influence the works of John Steinbeck?
The purpose of this paper is to discover the role that the Great Depression played on the work of John Steinbeck.
"I must go over to the interior valleys. There are about five thousand families starving to death over there, not just hungry but starving. The government is trying to feed them and get medical attention to them with the fascist groups of utilities and banks and huge growers sabotaging the thing all along the line and yelling for a balanced budget . . . I've tied into the thing from the first and I must get down there and see it and see if I can't do something to help knock these murderers on the heads . . . I'm pretty mad about it."
-John Steinbeck (Johnson)
The Great Depression was one of the most disastrous periods in American History. It was caused mainly by the Stock Market crash of 1929, as well as the Dust Bowl, which brought a drought all over the country. For these years our economy would suffer great losses, production of the nation's factories, mines, and utilities fell by over a half. Stock Prices would plummet, falling to one tenth of its previous value. While stocks were dropping, unemployment was skyrocketing. The Depression may have been the effect of the extremely high unemployment rate. One out of every 3 Americans were jobless, and poverty existed everywhere, in every corner of every street of every city. The depression affected everyone, while consumers were losing money to the stock market; farmers were losing crops to the drought.
These horrid images rubbed off on many authors and caused some to change...