How Does Steinbeck present the culture of the migrant workers in the novel "Of Mice and Men"?

Essay by DarkaquaHigh School, 10th gradeA-, July 2006

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John Steinbeck was born on 27 February 1902 in Salinas, California. "Of Mice and Men" was published in 1973, it was immediately successful and Steinbeck was beginning to be recognised as an author. The novel is set in Soledad, California and is about two migrant agricultural labourers, George Milton and Lennie Small. The two workers travel together which are unlike most of the other migrants. Lennie has a body of a grown man but a mind of a child and relies on George to look after him. The story progresses at their new working ranch when bad things start to happen and leads to a tragic ending resulting to the lost of lives and the destruction of dreams.

Migrant workers were homeless men during the period of 1929 to 1932. When the stock market crashed in America, economic pressure was brought to bear in large landholders. Thirty percent of the country suffered from unemployment and these migrant men decided to leave and journey elsewhere in search of a better life.

The migrants are from areas: Oklahoma; Texas; Arkansas; and Missouri, better described as the Dust Bowl. Driven by the Great Depression, drought and dust storms, the men all headed for California in search of work.

Although most of these men reached California, they did not stay in one place to settle, as work was very limited and there was competition everywhere. The migrant men had to travel alone to different places to find temporary jobs in ranches. Most of these people did not have their own families and their relatives maybe too far away, most had no friends so they travelled and lived alone only to care for themselves.. This is shown in Of Mice and Men by the loneliness and isolation with some of the workers on the...