What do we learn from "Of Mice and Men" about what life was like on a ranch?  how do you start it

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Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Concerning ranch life in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, I'm not sure what you mean by "it" in "How do you start it?"

I can answer what we learn about life on a ranch from the novella, though.

We learn:

  • about itinerant workers who travel from job to job, to wherever there happens to be a job
  • the value of saving what little money one can, the importance of raising a "stake"; how precious raising a stake is to these workers when they do it, or at least when they dream of doing it
  • that life on a ranch is rough and difficult; it is a hard life
  • the importance of friendship in a ranch situation; the need for friendship
  • that sometimes ranch life is brutal

 These are a few of the things we learn about ranch life in Of Mice and Men.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would start a paper on this topic by thinking about how I would have liked to live in the kind of situation that the men had on the ranch.  So I would organize my paper around that -- what would I like, what would I not like.

To me, the major bad thing about life on the ranch is that there is no privacy.  The men live all together in the same room.  They don't have any way to make their own home there.

I think that it is also bad that they are so dependent on their bosses.  They have to put up with Curley even though he's such a nasty man just because he is the son of the ranch owner.

Finally, living right there at your work would be kind of unpleasant.  The same guys are together all the time and they can't get away from their bosses.

missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We learn that these men slept in bunkhouses and their beds were made of straw tied in burlap bags. We know they worked long hours and were mostly around men. One a week if they were lucky, they got to go into town and go to a place like "Susie's", a place to drink and be with girls. They played horse shoes and cards for fun.

We learn there was somewhat of a hierarchy on a farm that was led by a boss, then a little lesser boss (in this case Curley) and then a grain-team leader, then there was a lowest class of laborer. We learned that they had to deal with their problems, not go get them taken care of in a local town. Many of the folks on this ranch had deformities or mental problems.

copypaste | Student

Thanks alot for the answers ;)