Streetwise George and his big, childlike friend Lennie are drifters, searching for work in the fields and valleys of California. They have nothing except the clothes on their back, and a hope that one day they'll find a place of their own and live the American dream. But dreams come at a price. Gentle giant Lennie doesn't know his own strength, and when they find work at a ranch he gets into trouble with the boss's daughter-in-law. Trouble so bad that even his protector George may not be able to save him.
About the Author
John Steinbeck (1902-1968) is remembered as one of the greatest and best-loved American writers of the twentieth century. During the 1930s, his works included The Red Pony, Pastures of Heaven, Tortilla Flat, In Dubious Battle, and Of Mice and Men. The Grapes of Wrath, published in 1939, earned him a Pulitzer Prize. In 1962, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature
George and Lennie are drifters, moving from rural property to rural property, they go wherever work takes them. They stay for as long as their luck lasts, doing whatever the current job demands, but come what may George and Lennie stick together. George is small, fast to loose his temper and smart. Lennie is big, always affable and dim-witted. Lennie needs George to look after him, and George sometimes wishes that he was able to live life free and easy, free to gamble and booze his money away. Lennie's slow wit often gets him into trouble in the rough and tumble, male world of the rural society. Now "a few miles south of Soledad" George and Lennie are about to start a new job. Before they enter the property the two camp out overnight so George can enjoy the scenery. This proves to be the calm before the storm as the two are about to experience life-changing events.
This is a short book, being just under 100 pages, but it contains much to be thought about. Steinbeck describes in detail the harsh way men choose to live. He notes how, in this environment, some men rise to become leaders, being hero-worshiped in such a way that their word becomes almost gospel in the minds of other men. But Stienbeck, through the friendship of George and Lennie, also notes that there is another, more caring way for men to live Of course even those who follow a philosophy of caring live in the real world of struggle in which circumstances are not easy to resolve, and Steinbeck is well aware of this. Steinbeck's beliefs are informed by his knowledge of Christianity, but one does not have to slavishly follow that religion to agree with what he is saying. This book was first published in 1937, but is contains ideas that have finally flourished in the New Age Men's movement of the late Twentieth Century.
This book is stylistically interesting. Steinbeck deliberately wrote his prose in a way which imitates plays (drama). Events take place in a set 'scene' and characters enter, interact and leave. Dialogue, rather than action, is emphasized. The author, indeed, later wrote a theater version of this story. He did the same thing with the book _The Moon is Down_. Through Steinbecks skillfully woven dialogue we gain a good understanding of his main characters and Lennie is one of his most poignant creations. The climaxes of this tale, and there are more than one, are also memorable.
John Steinbeck is of course a famous author and this is one of his most well known novels. I am glad to say I did not find it in the least disappointing and I am very happy to award it five stars.
Of Mice and Men is a descriptive novella, tracking Lennie and George's journey. The title itself is a metaphor for the men's characters. Whilst the novella is engaging and a quick read there is something lacking, perhaps the two-dimensionality of the characters, rather then existing as characters they exist as facets of people and serve only as a means to an ends.
Stienbecks novel of mice and men is a true depiction of the hard ships many men and for that matter women had to go through during the times of the economic depression in America. The relationship of George and Lenny is extremely emotive ad beautiful and at an original reading brought me to tears. A beautiful piece of human kind.
Steinback's grapes of wrath was a terrible book, but in Of Mice and Men you get to seek his credentials that have earned him his reputation. This is a funny (strange) story of a couple of wildly different blokes, exploring the struggles of life. The writing is capable- maybe not deserving of its classic status but still worth the (short) read that it is. I recommend it to anyone looking to get a taste of Steinback.
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