The Great Depression In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men portrays the migrant workers during the Great Depression, telling the downfall of two migrant workers, George and Lennie, working on a ranch, pursuing their American Dream – having their own land with rabbits, in a straightforward style. The author used not only major but also minor characters to bring out themes and reflect social issues during that time, for instance, social hierarchy, social injustice, sexism, the weak against the strong and innocence versus violence, also to foreshadow different events of the plot.
First of all, the author uses the boss to illustrate the social hierarchy and injustice in the society during the Great Depression. In the novella, the boss is the one who runs the ranch and is well-dressed. He only appeared in the second chapter, interviewing George and Lennie, and acted quite generously, had a good impression in the workers mind – “he’s a pretty nice fella,” as Candy once said. Being non-prevalent in the novella, as the story mainly focused on the depiction of ranch-workers working in the barn, it suggests that the boss doesn’t need to work on the ranch and doesn’t interact with the workers. Although he seems to be generous, and has a good figure in the story, he is actually exploiting the men in the ranch as tools for him making benefits, and being generous is probably to let the workers work for him willingly, illustrating the actual ladder in society. And ironically, he is not the one who paid most effort
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