'Of Mice And Men' Book Review

411 Words2 Pages
Of Mice and Men is set in United States during the Great Depression of the 1930’s and is based upon the experiences of author John Steinbeck as a bindlestiff in the 1920’s. It is a touching tale of the friendship between an unlikely pair: George Milton, a small, cynical, intelligent man “and dark of face.” And Lennie Small, a man of tremendous size, but limited mental abilities. The two men forge a “family” and cling together in the face of alienation and loneliness. The two flee from their previous employment in Weed, California, where they were run out of town after Lennie’s love of stroking soft things resulted in an accusation of attempted rape. Steinbeck’s short novel raises the lives of the poor and dispossessed to a higher, symbolic level. Subtle in its characterization, the book addresses the real hopes and dreams of working-class America. Laborers in California’s dusty vegetable fields, George and Lennie hustle work when they can. They hope to one day attain their shared dream: to own an acre of land and a shack they can call their own. Lennie’s part of the dream is merely to tend to (and touch) soft rabbits on the farm. When they land jobs on a ranch in the Salinas Valley, the fulfillment of their dream seems to be within their grasp. The climactic moment of the novel revolves around Lennie’s obsession of soft things. He pets the hair of Curley’s wife, but she panics. In the ensuing struggle, Lennie brutally but unintentionally kills her and runs away. The farmhands form a lynch mob to punish Lennie, but George finds him first. The literary power of, Of Mice and Men rests firmly on the relationship between the two central characters, their friendship and their shared dream. These two men are completely different, but they come together, stay together, and support each other in a world full of people who are destitute and alone. Their “family” and
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