Of Mice and Men Banned Book Project

By: Gabby Sahm

Book History

2008

Challenged at the Newton (IA) High School because of concerns about profanity and the portrayal of Jesus Christ. Newton High School has required students to read the book since at leas the early 1980's.

2007

Retained in the Greencastle-Antrim (PA) tenth-grade English classes. A complaint was filed because of "racial slurs" and profanity used throughout the novel. The book had been used in the high school for more than thirty years, and those who object to its content have the option of reading an alternative reading.

2005

Challenged in the Normal (IL) Community High Schools because the book contains "racial slurs, profanity, violence and does not represent traditional values". An alternative book, Steinbeck's The Pearl was offered but rejected by the family challenging the novel. The committee then recommended The House on Mango Street and The Way to Rainy Mountain as alternatives.

2004

Challenged in the Normal (IL) Community High Schools because the book contains "racial slurs, profanity, violence and does not represent traditional values".

2003

Challenged as required reading at Grandville (MI) high school for "racism, profanity and foul language". Banned in George County (MS) schools for profanity.

2002

Banned for using offensive language, racism, violence, and being unsuited to age group

2001

Banned for using offensive language, racism, violence, and being unsuited to age group


Book Themes

The book touches on many themes, some of which are racism, friendship, and mental disorders. The book is challenged some much in school because of these themes. John uses the "n" word repeatedly in the novel, and school boards find it unfit for students. They don't want to be responsible for students going around and saying the "n" word and thinking it's okay just because they learned it from reading a school required book.


"I could pet it with my thumb while we walked along," said Lennie. "Well, you ain't letting no mice while you walk with me. You remember where we're goin now?" "I forgot again" (said Lennie) "Jesus Christ" George said resignedly".


This quote really represents the theme that is based of mental disorders. George is getting frustrated with Lennie for wanting to pet a dead mouse, when Lennie doesn't even know better. He thinks it fine, but in reality we all know it's not.