ession An Eyewitness HistoryA Comparison of “Of Mice and Men” and “The Great Depression An Eyewitness
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
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.