Describe the setting of "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck and explain why this is important

Essay by jrowlandHigh School, 11th gradeA-, September 2006

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The novella "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck is set in Soledad, California. A very rough, dry and hot part of the USA. It took place during the 1930s whilst the depression was occurring. It is important that the novella is set in this time as the social attitudes of the time such as prejudism towards Blacks and women are represented in key events in the novella.

The 1930s was a very male dominate society. Steinbeck has accurately portrayed this in the novella by the fact that the male characters dominate the story and the female characters are represented only through Curleys Wife, a "tart" and "jail bait" in the workers eyes, who regularly is the reciever of prejudism because of the way she flaunts herself. Steinbeck has not even given her a name, thus also reflecting her social status, she is simply referred to as Curleys wife. The fact that she is married to Curley, the bosses son does not help her social status either.

As Curley is very demanding of her, not letting her live her life and accomplish her dreams.

The majority of the novella is set at the ranch. Steinbeck has described the ranch using very literal and colloquial language, rarely using similies, to show the reader what the ranch looks like. It also reflects the life of the workers, very poor and simple. It is in the ranch where a lot of the prejudice happens, once again highlighting what things were like in the 1930s. One of the key prejudices is that of racial prejudice which is directed at crooks. Because he is Black he does not work with the other men, instead working in the stable. He is not even allowed to enter the bunkhouse, let alone sleep there, instead having to bunk...