Of Mice and Men

Movie vs. Novel.. Which is better?

1937 Author John Steinbeck writes the novel titled "Of Mice and Men"

The story "Of Mice and Men" has two main characters, George and Lennie. Lennie is a big guy with special needs, and he goes everywhere with George. George takes care of Lennie since he can't on his own. They work on a ranch with other people. They are always Traveling because Lennie gets them in trouble, but that just makes it harder for them to make their dreams a reality.

1992 Director Gary Sinise makes an adaptation of this novel, also titled "Of Mice and Men"

The movie "Of Mice and Men" was directed by Gary Sinise and was released in 1992. George Milton was acted by the same person who directed the movie, Gary Sinise and Lennie Small was acted by John Malkovich. Since this movie is an adaption of the novel, the plot and setting is the same as in the novel.

Ending Scene

I chose to compare the two ending scenes were George shoots Lennie. This is probably the most important scene, not only because it's the ending, but because it is the most emotional and tragic part of the story. George and Lennie are the two most important characters in the story, so for George to shoot Lennie was very unexpected and definitely left the reader in shock.

Novel Chapter 6

Lennie said, “Tell how it’s gonna be.”

George had been listening to the distant sounds. For a moment he was businesslike. “Look acrost the river, Lennie, an’ I’ll tell you so you can almost see it.”[S1]


Lennie turned his head and looked off across the pool and up the darkening slopes of the Gabilans. “We gonna get a little place,” George began. He reached in his side pocket and brought out Carlson’s Luger; he snapped off the safety, and the hand and gun lay on the ground behind Lennie’s back. He looked at the back of Lennie’s head, at the place where the spine and skull were joined.

A man’s voice called from up the river, and another man answered. “Go on,” said Lennie.

George raised the gun and his hand shook, and he dropped his hand to the ground again.

“Go on,” said Lennie. “How’s it gonna be. We gonna get a little place.” “We’ll have a cow,” said George. “An’ we’ll have maybe a pig an’ chickens .

. . . an’ down the flat we’ll have a . . . . little piece alfalfa—” “For the rabbits,” Lennie shouted.

“For the rabbits,” George repeated. “And I get to tend the rabbits.” “An’ you get to tend the rabbits.”

Lennie giggled with happiness. “An’ live on the fatta the lan’.” “Yes.”

Lennie turned his head.

“No, Lennie. Look down there acrost the river, like you can almost see the place.”

Lennie obeyed him. George looked down at the gun.

There were crashing footsteps in the brush now. George turned and looked toward them.

“Go on, George. When we gonna do it?” “Gonna do it soon.”

“Me an’ you.”

“You . . . . an’ me. Ever’body gonna be nice to you. Ain’t gonna be no more trouble. Nobody gonna hurt nobody nor steal from ‘em.”

Lennie said, “I thought you was mad at me, George.”

“No,” said George. “No, Lennie. I ain’t mad. I never been mad, an’ I ain’t now. That’s a thing I want ya to know.”

The voices came close now. George raised the gun and listened to the voices. Lennie begged, “Le’s do it now. Le’s get that place now.”

“Sure, right now. I gotta. We gotta.”

And George raised the gun and steadied it, and he brought the muzzle of it close to the back of Lennie’s head. The hand shook violently, but his face set and his hand steadied. He pulled the trigger. The crash of the shot rolled up the hills and rolled down again. Lennie jarred, and then settled slowly forward to the sand, and he lay without quivering.

George shivered and looked at the gun, and then he threw it from him, back up on the bank, near the pile of old ashes.

Movie Ending Scene

The movie version of this scene is not much different, but there still are some minor changes. In the Novel version, George is more hesitant before he shoots Lennie, unlike in the movie were it seems as if he just wants to get it over-with. Just for this it made the novel feel more emotional and had more of a connection with the reader. In the movie George shot Lennie while Lennie was talking about tending the rabbits. But in the novel George shoots Lennie after they plan on going to get the farm of their dreams. The timing that George pulled the trigger made the reader and audience of the movie feel two different ways, at least it was different for me.
Of Mice and Men (10/10) Movie CLIP - George Shoots Lennie (1992) HD

Movie or Novel?

Both the movie and novel are very good stories, however they both affect the reader and audience differently. It is one thing to read about a tragedy, and to see the tragedy happen. The stories are both presented a little differently, but in the end it's all about personal preference. In my opinion the movie is better than the novel. There wasn't much of a difference, but actually seeing what happened made me feel more connected. For example before George shot Lennie, you saw George lay his head on Lennies' shoulder with a couple tears drip down his face. You didn't see that in the novel. To also see George shoot Lennie felt more personal oppose to reading about it. Even though I thought the Movie was better, the novel still has some things that was done better than the movie. Such as the choice of words, and the detail of how everything happened. Even though you can picture it, I think it's better to see it.