'Of Mice and Men' is a novel written by Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck. It was published in 1937, when the United States was emerging from the Great Depression and the dust bowl. Both of these disasters resulted in a nationwide search for work and food. Near WEED, California, the people walked for miles with packs, or "bundles" on their backs, looking for farm work and a home. John Steinbeck knew these people. George Milton and Lennie Small were two of these displaced migrant workers. The theme of friendship is constant throughout the story.