Of Mice and Men is set in California during the late 1930s. The United States at that time was still feeling the effects of the Great Depression, with large numbers of unemployed men searching for work. For many uneducated and unattached laborers, one possible method was to become a migrant worker, traveling from farm to farm to work in the fields harvesting different crops as they ripened at different times. It was exhausting physical labor under harsh conditions, as the landowners did not feel any compulsion to provide for anything beyond basic survival to the temporary workers. Lennie and George were migrant farm laborers.