Through the works of Steinbeck we are given a looking glass that allows us to be present in a time in which the world was changing, a time when naiveté and innocence succumbed to knowledge and maturity. Two of his greatest works Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath both reflect greatly on the social, economic and political climate of America in the 1930s. There characters speak of the common man and his struggles, his small triumphs but mostly of his defeats. .
One issue his work depicts is the great depression. The great depression was a time of economic downfall. The unemployment rate rose to all time highs. Going to over twenty percent nationwide (Encyclopedia Britannica).Its hard to describe what an average person went through living in the depression. Imagine for a moment, waking up one day to find yourself on a dirty floor, a pile of rags, or maybe even the street. You're wearing the same clothes you wore yesterday except they are holy and dirty. You get up and start to head for work, or school, only to realize you have no place to go. You are hungry but you try to ignore it because you don't have any money to buy food. You look towards a president who looks the other way. Who offers you lovely Hoover sandwiches and a nice place to live Hooverville. You have no job, no money, no family, no hope. Welcome to the depression. As shown in this statement by Frank Walker, president of the National Emergency Council, 1934 no one was spared from this devastating period.
"I saw old friends of mine -- men I had been to school with -- digging ditches and laying sewer pipe. They were wearing their regular business suits as they worked because they couldn't afford overalls and rubber boots. Frank Walker, president of the National Emergency Council, 1934 questia.com-.
These are some of the same hardships Lennie and George two characters in Mice and Men had to go through. When they arrive at the bunkhouse you see examples of these hardships.