What are some quotes about tough times in Of Mice and Men?

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Of Mice and Men is set during the Great Depression, when life was difficult for many people. Steinbeck chose, in this novella, to focus on a group of people who were especially struggling to stay afloat: unemployed men who had no choice but to drift from farm job to farm job as migrant workers. These workers had no job security, low pay, and few prospects to get ahead in life. For them, the American Dream of having a house, a wife, two children, and a steady job was out of reach.

Some quotes that allude to tough times are as follows:

I got three cans of beans in my bindle. You get a fire ready. I'll give you a match when you get the sticks together. Then we'll heat the beans and have supper.

Lennie said, "I like beans with ketchup."

Well, we ain't got no ketchup.

In this opening scene in the book, Lennie and George are shown living marginal lives as they get ready to take exhausting jobs at the ranch nearby. They eat beans, cooked over an open fire, and don't have the money for such luxuries as ketchup.

Later, we find that George and Lennie need the money from the ranch job, though George would like to walk away from it because Curley unnerves him. George says to Lennie:

If we can get jus' a few dollars in the poke we'll shove off and go up the American River and pan gold. We can make maybe a couple of dollars a day there.

This quote shows how hand-to-mouth the two men live.

Later, George tells Candy about their "stake" for buying a farm: "We got ten bucks between us." This is not much money, even in the Depression.

Curley's wife simply laughs when Lennie reveals to her the dream of owning a farm with George. Her derision sums up the hardship all of the men live with, not just Lennie and George:

Curley's wife laughed at him. "Baloney," she said. "I seen too many you guys. If you had two bits in the worl', why you'd be in gettin' two shots of corn with it and suckin' the bottom of the glass."

Curley's wife knows both that the men who work the ranches are broke and that this state of poverty makes them feel hopeless, so if they have any money, they spend it on cheap whiskey and don't let any of it go to waste.

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