A Comparison Between The Great Depression And

Of Mice And Men Essay, Research Paper

The Great Depression is comparable to Lennie and George’s life. I would like

to give a comparison of George Milton and Lennie Small to the Great

Depression. The time that this story took place was during the Great

Depression. John Steinbeck captured the reality of this most difficult time.

During the Great Depression people needed to travel together to share

chores and duties to make a living until something better came along. That is

the way George and Lennie traveled. They traveled together to take care of

each other but George took care of Lennie the most, because he was always

getting in trouble. “You do bad things and I got to get you out.” (Of Mice

and Men p.11). During the Great Depression money was very scarce. You

had to travel around to find a job in order to make money to survive. Lennie

and George were in that type of predicament. Keeping enough money until

the next job was difficult because prices were rising during the Great

Depression and you had to budget your money. During this depression most

people worked on farms because after the stock market crashed people

realized that the reason the stock market crashed was because farms were not

producing enough goods. People started to work on farms more to help

everyone. Lennie and George worked for ranches and also in the fields.

“He’s a good skinner. He can rassel grain bags, drive a cultivator. He can do

anything.” (Of Mice and Men p.22).

If you really look closely, George and Lennie’s way of life and the

Great Depression have a good deal in common. George and Lennie were

outcasts in life. George Milton was small in size and a very smart man

compared to Lennie. He was actually only of average intelligence. Lennie

Small was a large person and very retarded. Since Lennie was so retarded he

did not grasp the things that were happening around him. For example, if

someone became upset about anything he would grab them and hold and

squeeze until they stopped moving. Lennie would accidentally harm them and

that is how he got into trouble. George would then have to try to get Lennie

out of the current predicament. This sort of ties in with the attitude of the

people during the Great Depression because people were constantly unsettled.

The people in the Great Depression were losing all of the money that they had

worked so hard to earn and save. When the banks closed, they lost

everything. When someone found themselves in great difficulty on a farm or

ranch they had to seek some other opportunity. It was very important to not

let anyone know what had happened where you were previously employed.

In 1929, Herbert Hoover was elected president. Wall Street was

greatly affected by the greatest stock market crash in the history of the United

States of America. This caused everyone and especially the banks to panic.

Everyone was naturally concerned about the safety of their money. They

went to the banks to get what money they could. There was not enough

money for everyone to withdrawal. This was the beginning of the Great

Depression. During this period president Franklin D. Roosevelt was

inaugurated. President Roosevelt said, “So, first of all, let me assert my firm

belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself–nameless, unreasoning,

unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into

advance.” (The Great Depression An Eyewitness History p.105). His first

action of presidency was to implement what is known as the New Deal to

help the country to emerge from the Great Depression.

In conclusion there are many things that can be compared between the

two subjects. First, the settings between the two stories were similar and they

both took place during the same time frame. Second, they told of the

hardships that everyone faced during the 1930’s. Hardships and relationships

never last but memories help us to make better decisions in the future.



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