What kinds of jobs are available in the Salinas Valley in the 1930s?

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brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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In the Great Depression, not many jobs at all.  Remember that Lennie and George go to the Murray and Ready's employment agency and got work slips for the ranch.  These were companies that you gave money to and they located a job for you, or employers requested workers and paid the company to find them.

In the Salinas valley of California, the work would be overwhelmingly agricultural jobs, working seasonal harvests (notice Lennie and George are migrant farm workers), orchards, strawberries, barley, etc.  These jobs in those days were intensely physical, a lot of picking, tending, digging, cutting, harvesting, carrying.  Tough work for $50 a month.

mkcapen1's profile pic

mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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In the Salinas Valley most jobs that are available in the book are ones related to tending a ranch.  When George and Lennie get to the ranch they work as field hands which means they would roll and stack (barley) grain or products.  Lennie is very strong so he would be used to lift products onto truck beds.  There is a ranch foreman who oversees the ranch hands tasks, a mucker, who keeps the bunkhouse clean, cook, who prepares meals for the men, stable hand, and driving the trucks.  Most of the jobs are general towards running a barley ranch.

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