Specifications for Of Mice and Men
To best understand the book Of Mice and Men, it’s necessary to learn about its author, creation background, and theme.
About the Author
John Steinbeck, born on February 27, 1902, in Salinas, California, was an acclaimed American novelist. He is known for his insightful depiction of the social and economic issues during the Great Depression. Steinbeck’s realistic and imaginative novels, including Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, and East of Eden, earned him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962.
Steinbeck authored 33 books throughout his career, exploring themes of fate and injustice, particularly about underprivileged protagonists. He passed away on December 20, 1968, leaving a legacy that continues to shape American literature and social thought.
The novella Of Mice and Men is set during the Great Depression and mirrors the author’s experiences as a migrant worker in Central Valley, California. The narrative follows George Milton and Lennie Small, displaced ranch workers, in their quest for work and survival in an agriculture-dependent economy. Their story embodies the resilience of migrants striving to achieve the American Dream.
Upon release, the book received widespread acclaim, sold 117,000 pre-publication copies, and quickly became a best-seller. Despite some criticism for sentimentality and biological preoccupation, it remains a celebrated work for its insightful portrayal of American society during the Great Depression.
The book Of Mice and Men explores several themes:
- Loneliness and Alienation: Most characters, including George, Lennie, Candy, Crooks, and Curley’s wife, experience profound loneliness and isolation.
- Dreams vs Reality: The characters’ harbor dreams are shattered when Lennie accidentally kills Curley's wife.
- Friendship and Loyalty: The deep brotherhood between George and Lennie is the main thread of the book.
- Predatory Nature of Human Existence: Of Mice and Men suggests that visible strength used to oppress others stems from weakness.
- The American Dream: George and Lennie’s dream of owning a farm symbolizes the American Dream as an ideal for the poor and working class.
Of Mice and Men Summary
During the Great Depression, George Milton and Lennie Small, two migrant workers in California, dream of owning land. Lennie, mentally disabled but strong, loves petting soft animals but often kills them accidentally. They had to flee from Weed after Lennie was accused of rape for grabbing a woman's skirt.
Hired at a farm, they meet Curley, the aggressive boss's son who targets Lennie, and his flirtatious wife. They also meet Candy, an elderly handyman, and Slim, a kind mule driver who gives Lennie and Candy a puppy each. Candy offers to contribute $350 towards buying a farm, making their dream seem achievable.
George leaves Lennie at the ranch while he goes into town. Lennie chats with Crooks, the isolated black stable hand. They discuss their farm plans with Candy until Curley's wife interrupts and threatens Crooks. The next day, Lennie accidentally kills his puppy and later unintentionally breaks Curley's wife's neck when she lets him stroke her hair. When her body is found, a lynch mob forms.
At the end of the book Of Mice and Men, George finds Lennie at their designated meeting spot and shoots him to spare him from the mob. Slim comforts George while Curley and Carlson fail to understand their emotions.
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Of Mice and Men is a compelling narrative that delves into human relationships and dreams. The relevance and the emotional depth it offers make it a must-read. Despite its somber undertones, its exploration of timeless themes and human nature makes the book universally appealing. Now, go ahead and read Of Mice and Men with SwifDoo PDF.