Of Mice & Men

By: Jada Washington

Novel Summary

Of Mice & Men by John Steinbeck is a novel based on the time of the Great Depression, It takes place in Soledad,California near Salinas River. Its about two workers Lennie who is a mentally challenged large man and George who is a life long friend who is strongly devoted to protecting Lennie from the harshness of society. They are running away from their old farm because Lennie was wrongly accused of rape. As George and Lennie are walking around for new employment,Lennie starts to play with a dead mouse and George gives him an angry look. George tells Lennie not to talk once they get to the new employment and Lennie gets off topic again and George becomes angry. He tells Lennie he would be better off without him,George feels bad for what he says and he apologies then him and Lennie start to talk about their future together of owning their own farm with rabbits,Lennie loves the idea of rabbits that's the only thing that keeps him visioning the dream.Once Lennie and George gets to the new ranch that they will be working at an old man named Candy shows them where they will be staying ,he explains to them that the boss will be mad that they showed up late. Later that day, the boss questions George and Lennie this is the point where the boss finds out Lennie is mentally disabled and doesn't understand why George travels with him until George lies and tells him that Lennie is his cousin. After the boss was done talking and left, his son Curley who is a short man who hates larger men because of his insecurity, he enters the room looking for his wife. She visited the room later that night looking for Curley once she didn't find him she started to flirt with the other men once Curley returned he started to pick a fight with George. After everybody got done working they return to the bunkhouse, George explains to Slim who is another worker, why him and Lennie left their old farm. Thats when Carlson another worker brings up Candy's dog and how useless and old the dog is. He offers to kill the dog after all the complaints he had been getting,so they shoot the dog. George starts to talk about the vision with Lennie again,but this time Candy overhears him, he asks if he can chip in with their money too and he'll work on their farm with them. Later that night, Curley is looking for his wife again . Lennie was laughing so Curley assumes he was laughing at him so he punches Lennie many times,but Lennie doesn't fight back util he asks George what to do and he tells him to fight back, at this point Lennie crushes Curley's hand. The next day, The men leave for the whorehouse, Lennie visits Crooks who is the only African American on the ranch. At one point Crooks is rude to Lennie until he realizes Lennie is mentally ill, Candy also visits the two men while they are together. They start to talk about the vision of the small farm and Crooks shows that he wants he join them. Curley's wife she sees them together and from her being lonely she decides to join them. Crooks tries to explain to her that's shes not suppose to be in his room,she gets angry and threatens to get Crooks lynched. The next morning, Lennie was playing with his new puppy he accidentally kills it from being to rough. Curley's wife finds him and the dead puppy, she feels bad and lets Lennie touch her nice soft hair, when Lennie begans to be to rough Curley's wife scream,which scares Lennie and he covers her mouth and accidentally cracks her neck. Lennie gets scared and runs away from the ranch, Candy and George finds the body and come to conslusion that Lennie did it. Candy runs and tells all the men on the ranch, Curley forms a search party to find Lennie. George takes Carlson gun so the rest will assume Lennie took it, George tells Curley and other the wrong direction so they couldn't find Lennie. George finds Lennie in the area he told him to go to in the beginning of the book. Lennie was there having illusions about the rabbits and his Aunt Clara; they were telling him that George is gonna be very angry with him for killing Curley's wife. George tries to calm Lennie down by telling him everything will be ok to just think about their farm and thats when George shoot him. After hearing the gun shot the other men find George and Lennie and George lies and says Lennie stole the gun and he shot Lennie while struggling to get the gun from him.

Theme Analysis

The some common theme that goes along with mostly everybody in the story is loneliness. A select few important characters actually go along with the theme such as Curley's wife and Crooks. Curley's wife suffers from loneliness because she is the only woman on the ranch with all men,her husband wont let anybody talk to her or even get close to her its like he wants her to be lonely.Crooks is lonely because of his racial background,he is the only African American on the ranch.He stays in the stable by himself with all the animals once Lennie talked to Crooks about his dream and Crook told him how he saw that happening. Curley's wife and Candy are the two important characters that suffer from the theme loneliness.

Character Development

Significant Quote From Novel

"I seen hundred of men come by on the road an' on the ranches with their bindles on their back an' that same damn thing in their heads.. every damn one of' em's got a little piece of land in his head. An' never a God damn one of'em ever gets it. Just like heaven .Ever'body wants a little piece of lan'. I read plenty of books out here . Nobody never gets to heaven and nobody gets no land"(Steinbeck.

Author Biography

John Steinbeck was born February 27,1902, in Salinas California. Steinbeck went to college until he dropped to work as a manual labor worker before he stared his career as a writer.He was awarded a Noble Prize for Literature in 1962, He wrote several books within the years before his prize was given to him. Cannery Row(1945),Burning Bright(1950),and East Eden(1952) and a few more such as Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck later died of heart disease in New York on December 20,1968.