The war was over and American society wasn’t directly damaged, economy grew faster than ever due to the demand of American goods. Industrial production doubled. However, every high has a low. Black Tuesday, October 29th, 1929. America was thrown into desperation as the stock market crumbled, marking the official beginning of the worst economic crash in the history of the world. Banks shut down, people became bankrupt and the number of unemployed reached one quarter of the workforce. Farmers needed to produce more goods for the same amount of money; which led to a huge seven-year drought. ‘The dirty thirties.’ When thousands of workers migrated to California with a hope of achieving ‘The American Dream.’ Steinbeck was interested in those who strived for a better life and those who had hopes and dreams. George and Lennie have these dreams, the dream to “get a little stake” and to “live off the fatta the lan'” But what binds them together is their trust that keeps them moving. How can we view trust in “Of Mice and Men” as distrust and mistrust? This essay will discuss the importance of trust in “Of Mice and Men”.
“I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you.” George is everything to Lennie, without George, Lennie would be lost in the harsh reality that emerged during the great depression. Steinbeck often uses animalification to describe Lennie. For example, as a dog due to his unconditional loyalty towards George. There is evidence in how extraordinary it is for two men to be travelling together through the dust bowl. The faith between George and Lennie is very special. Seeing the troubles, they both faced in Weed it may have been understandable if they went their separate ways, but George stuck with him. Possibly due to his promise to Aunt Clara or because George deeply cares about Lennie and knows that he needs to take care of him. In chapter 2 when George is speaking to Slim we see that he begins to believe that Slim is a trust-worthy person, this is shown as, “You wouldn’t tell?… No, course you wouldn’t” On page 67. The reason George has faith in Slim is because of his poise and presence. When George and Lennie first meat Slim he is described as almost god-like Steinbeck stated that he moved “with a majesty only achieved by royals” and that his “authority was so great that his word was taken on any subject.” Steinbeck’s description is what George felt in the moment he entered the room. When Slim and George become acquainted George begins to see Slim’s insightful knowledge of workers around the dust bowl. This allows George to recognize the complete control Slim seems to have in the bunk. When George is asked about Weed he has already confided in him enough to tell him what no one else has heard before. This shows that George ultimately trusts Slim. The reason for this could perhaps be that George is normally regarded as the decision maker and the brain between Lennie and himself, therefore once he meets Slim he is almost overwhelmed by his charisma that he begins to trust him. This is because true trust is such a scarce feeling in the bunk.
In the bunk people aren’t there to develop relationships but to earn money, residents of the bunk are extremely protective of their belongings and particular about who they should and should not talk to. Migrant workers during that time seem to have a social anxiety issue that prevents them from entrusting another human. This means that they are very secluded and independent due to the fear that someone else could take away what they have. Curley is an antagonistic character who was once a semi-pro boxer. Curley’s paranoia of other people’s potential actions is shown when he first meets George in the bunk, “His eyes flashed over George, took in his height, measure his reach” On page 37. This quote shows how Curley sees anyone he meets as a potential threat; someone he would need to fight.