Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is a classic novel that many of us have read growing up. And let’s be honest, we were moved by the novel despite reading it at a young age. For those of you who haven’t read the novel, maybe the short might make you want to read it.
Of Mice and Men: Summary
George Milton and Lennie Small are two migrant field workers in California that are trying to attain the American Dream. George is a small intelligent man while Lennie is a big guy who is mentally disabled. Their strong friendship and bond has kept them together over the years. Their dream is to own land while Lennie tends to his rabbits and settle down as the Great Depression looms around them.
After Lennie gets into an incident with a women, George and Lennie flee as Lennie is accused of rape. The duo finds work at another farm but Lennie’s big size draws the attention of Curley, the boss’s son who is short. Curley’s Napolean Complex kicks in and Lennie is confronted by Curley.
Besides Curley, George and Lennie meet Slim who gets along with them and even gives Lennie a dog as a pet. But Lennie also catches the eye of Curley’s wife. She is described as being beautiful and Lennie is instantly attracted to her. As George tries to keep Lennie safe and out of trouble and finally buy land, Lennie cannot help but attract trouble. And this time, they cannot just run away from it all.
Steinbeck is able to capture the plight of migrant workers with ease. While this may not be his iconic novel The Grapes of Wrath, we still see George and Lennie striving for a better life. And some of this comes from personal experience as Steinbeck was a migrant farm worker as a teenager.
As a kid, I remember reading this and falling in love with the two characters. They were simple yet unique, something a lot of authors forget to do. Steinbeck definitely is a household name but isn’t brought up as much as he should be. He has many iconic novels and paints us beautiful pictures of common people with common problems.
Anyone who hasn’t read this novel should do so right away. It is a short novel and can be read in a couple of days. This is a great gateway to Steinbeck and his other not so short novels.