How does Steinbeck’s description of the bunk house give us insight about ranch life and larger issues affecting migrant workers in the 1930s?

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John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is a psychological novella that, in part, centers on the main theme of the American dream. The author makes the point that human nature compels people to work hard for a promising future, which does not always come to pass.

The title of the book is taken from lines in a Robert Burns poem foretelling how the “best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Go oft astray.” Focusing on his thesis, Steinbeck uses a variety of themes, symbols, and literary devices to demonstrate mankind’s struggle in the midst of social injustices and loneliness.

As the story unfolds, two ranch hands, George Milton and Lenny Small, are enjoying an idyllic setting: “A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green.” They dream of owning their own farm someday. George is “small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp, strong features,” while Lenny is a gigantic mentally challenged individual and the...

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