This classic novel tells the tragic tale of Lennie Small and George Milton. They are out of luck and out of work migrant workers roaming the highways of California during the 1920s. The depression is the backdrop for the story but that does not prevent Lennie and George from dreaming big. Steinbeck paints a masterful and brilliant portrait of a bygone era that still resonates today. Every time I read this book it reads differently. This is required reading for most high schools. Fifteen years after I originally read I still love it. However, the difference between reading it at 14 and 28 is amazing. Lennie and George are some of the best characters of 20th Century Literature. I highly reccommend picking this one up.
The American Library Association has consistently had to deal with the fact that this classic novel continues to rank among the top ten most frequently challenged books. The title, taken from Robert Burns famous line the best laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley foreshadows the story of George and Lennie, two migrant workers who dream of someday owning their own little farm where they can settle down to live off the fatta the lan. Like all classic pieces of literature Of Mice and Men, which is set during the depression and deals with universal themes like friendship, isolation, cruelty, innocence, compassion, cowardliness, courage, and love reveals aspects of the human condition that are timeless. Another reason this book is a classic is that instead of simply telling a sad story about a child-like, developmentally disabled man and his friend who has taken on the responsibility of looking out for him, Steinbeck gives us a chance to get to know them. By the end of the book its hard not to feel moved and touched by what happens to characters we have come to understand and care about. On the other hand not everyone who reads the book ends up feeling that way. Apparently theres plenty there to offend all kinds of people -- animal rights people are upset because of what happens to Candys dog and Lennies puppy. Civil rights activists protest the character and treatment of Crooks, the black hired hand who sleeps in a separate bunk house from the other ranch workers. Feminists complain about the stereotypical treatment of Curlys wife and the notable absence of any strong female characters. Some people feel the portrayal of Lennie is demeaning to persons with disabilities. And of course, staunchly religious folks are outraged at the suggestion that mercy killing can be the form that love takes. Nevertheless this book remains a classic piece of American literature and having read it I have a pretty good reason why.
From the back cover: "Traveling across America in search of who you are - now they do it on cycles, in cars, by bus or in the time-honored tradition of foot and thumb. The wanderers of today may wear their hair long and speak a different jargon, but their trip is one that men (and women) have taken for as long as this country has been pushing at its frontiers.
John Steinbeck writes of such a trip in Of Mice and Men: the desperate longing of men for some kind of home - roots that they can believe in, land that they can care for - and the painful search for self. This beautiful, timeless novel speaks of the love that men can feel for each other - one inarticulate, dumb, sometimes violent in his need; the other clever, hopeful, and tied to a responsibility he thinks he doesn't want."
Warning: This book includes violence, obsenities and profanity. Not recommended for children. At 118 pages and large print, it's a quick read.
Short enough to entice a reluctant reader to pick it up. This is one that you just have to read. Definitely recommend it for kids. If they can make it past the first few paragraphs they'll love it! Steinbeck is just awesome!
Powerful story, and it isn't drawn out into a long novel. Loved the writing style. It really made the characters come to life, and it was easy to feel drawn into the story. This one really tugged at my heart...great book.
Of Mice and Men is the THEE most rewarding book to teach. The students easily understand Setting, as each chapter begins with a couple paragraphs of it. Static and dynamic characters are clear and obvious. It's a fantastic example of truly sympathizing with the antagonist. It's a great way to personify the Great Depression and just how hard men had to work to scrape by. Most of my students don't like Curly's wife because Steinbeck did such an excellent job of making her a villain; when I begin to explain how it might feel to be her: nameless, powerless, unloved, bullied...they begin to appreciate how the "have nots" feel. Follow this book with the Gary Sinise/Jon Malkovich movie and your students will remember their lessons for ever.
Just finished reading and decoding every small aspect of this book for a literature class and I'm currently torn between adoring it, and being ready to throw it across the room.
Three things are for certain: it's a novella you won't want to put down until it's over, the ending will get you every time, and you will fall absolutely in love with the characters.
Steinbeck was a genius.
Wow! What a poignant and precise book. Despite this book's classic reputation, I never read this in school, and really had no idea what the book was about. I really enjoyed it - and was truly shocked by how sad it was. I felt terrible after reading the ending and was surprised at how such a short book could cover such huge themes like isolation, friendship, love, death and dreams. The number of dogs were surprising, too. I liked it more than _Cannery Row_.
I read this as a high-school english EXP book, and wasn't expecting much from it. Truthfully, it is a WONDERFUL, sad, and touching story about isolation, strength, and friendship. I would recommend it to anyone, but make sure you have a box of tissues on hand. Steinbeck has a great way of describing places and it really lets you see the world that the characters live in.
I found this book to be emotionaly guided with a corky standpoint as well as rounded with a Drmatic twist that brings it's readers tearing up if not crying. culturally, the writing changes as charectors come in and out of the picure giving everything and everone their own personalities. if your looking for a Classic Drama, with heart; feed your soul with this book, it'll fill you right up!
It took long enough, but I finally read this book, and though it's good the one overwhelming thought in my head is DEPRESSING. I'm just glad it was so short. Lennie and George are two friends - George is a small man but smart, while Lennie is a huge and extremely strong but with the intelligence of a child. They have spent their lives dreaming of having a place of their own, living off "the fat of the land", but Lennie's lack of control over his brute strength have landed them in trouble several times and forced them to remain on the move. Steinbeck paints a bleak portrait of the hardship of the time, as well as the myriad characters in life, and an unusual friendship. Most people probably would not like the ending, but I felt it was fitting and I don't think he could have ended it any other way.
This book contains a great deal of swearing! Other than that, I really like this book! The themes are great! The story is so very intriguing. What a picture of life during the Great Depression. The ending took me completely by surprise! It gives you a lot to think about.
This is such a beautifully sad book about George and Lennie. George the protector, Lennie the gentle man that is too strong for his own good. I really like George even though he was tough on Lennie sometimes. I trusted that he would always take of Lennie and that he was the only one who really understood him. I enjoyed hearing about their dream as much as Lennie did. There was an feeling throughout the book that something bad was going to happen. It starts with Lennie killing the mice because he is too strong. Then they reach their new work place and there is trouble with the foreman's son and his new wife. Again, Lennie is too strong and his confusion and tenderness is marked with anger when people or animals do not behave as he expects them. This escalates out of control to lead to the final conclusion when George is Lennie's final protector. Heart wrenching.
I hated this book. I found it physically painful to read. I appreciate and respect what Steinbeck was trying to do with the dialogue. Not being able to finish writing a book myself, I try to be very respectful of accomplished writers, especially writers of classics, but this was not my cup of tea at all and I feel it is incredibly over rated. I've referred to it as 'garbage' and meant it.
I found this story to be difficult to listen to. The narrator is so slow I was often wishing I had the book in front of me so I could speed up and get through it. It was suddenly over and I literally felt nauseous.
I understand that Steinbeck is touted as one of our 20th century genius writers. However, I find his books to lack a certain integrity. If he is such a great writer, why does he resort to such profane language? Aren't his characters either grotesque enough? Desperate enough? If Steinbeck is so great a writer, might he just draw from his 'literary genius' and choose a vocabulary less base to formulate his characters? I find it lazy of Steinbeck to use profanity. It takes away from my ability to give him any decent rating. It would be a compromise.
it's so sad. In the end Lenny is shot dead since he accidentally killed a woman and since he was mentally wrong you have to have empathy for him. Him dying in the end all because he killed a woman by accident is just so sad. but still it does teach a few lessons and is still a good book. there are two reasons for the foul language one is to make you hate the antagonists and two to fit with the times