In Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck uses the setting to explain the isolation the characters often feel. The story is set during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The novel is set on a ranch in the Salinas Valley in California.
Times were tough economically. Men like George and Lennie struggled to find work. George and Lennie moved from ranch to ranch trying to find enough money to make their dream come true. Also, the setting was a lonely setting. Men lived in isolation one from another.
George and Lennie dreamed to own a small farm of a few hundred acres, but these farms were "were relatively scarce."
Larger farms produced fruits and vegetables which provided only low wages. It was difficult to save the money that George and Lennie needed to buy their dream farm.
Steinbeck covered a strike that the workers of the Great Depression created. He was familiar with the economic times which caused the strike of September 1936. During this time, "thousands of lettuce workers in the Salinas Valley went on strike over low wages."
The strike was crushed within a month by army officers who were hired to stop the workers from striking:
The situation grew tense, and an army officer was brought in to lead vigilantes against the strikers. The strike was crushed within a month. Steinbeck covered the strike as a reporter for the San Francisco News.
Also, for a woman like Curley's wife, the setting proved to produce a sense of isolation. No other women are introduced. Curley's wife flirts with the men on the ranch because of isolation and loneliness. She reaches out to Lennie because of her lonely setting. She dies due to her interaction with Lennie. Lennie loses his life because of a woman like Curley's wife. George had warned him that she was "poison."
Economic times were difficult. George and Lennie struggled to make a living during these hard times. Loneliness prevailed. It was a life of isolation for George and Lennie. George and Lennie lived for their dream of owning their own farm one day. Since George had to shoot Lennie in the end, the dream was over.
Steinbeck’s Use of Foreshadowing in "Of Mice and Men" Essay
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In John Steinbeck’s famous novel Of Mice and Men, foreshadowing plays a large part in the reader’s experience. Almost every event that is important was foreshowed at some people, such as the multiple deaths that occur throughout. If Steinbeck wasn't so prolific in his use of foreshadowing the readers experience would be very different.
In Of Mice and Men, almost every character and setting is used for foreshadowing, and it begins right away. The first scene depicting a calm, serene, peaceful haven of sorts, reminiscent of Eden, was the first bit of foreshadowing, although initially it didn't seem so. This safe haven located just outside of the ranch that George and Lennie are supposed to work at, where lennie was to go if anything…show more content…
The moment Curley’s wife waltzed into the barn the scene was set, the person that Lennie had been warned not to converse with had entered the room. Lennie used all his willpower not to speak to her, but alas she overpowers him, and a conversation ensued after she noticed the dead puppy, and then told Lennie her life story. she told him that she didn’t like curley and that she could’ve been an actress, but it never seemed to work out, and now she’s stuck on a ranch with an unappreciative husband and a bunch of men that won’t talk to her. A short while into the conversation Lennie explains to Curley’s wife about his love for soft things, to which she says that everybody likes soft things and that he must like linen. She then tells him that she enjoys playing with her hair on account of how soft it is and tells him that he can feel it if he would like to. This would prove to be the biggest mistake of her short life. Lennie grabbed her hair and said something to the effect of “thats nice” after a few seconds Curley’s wife became worried that Lennie was going to “muss” up her hair, and told him to let go, but he didn't. Curley’s wife then proceeded to scream, which scared Lennie and only caused him to hold on tighter and cover her mouth in an attempt to quiet her, when she began to struggle Lennie shook her, which made her fall silent. Lennie set her down in the hay, and realized that he’d done something bad, very bad, he had killed Curley’s wife