Of Mice and Men

Marielle Medina

Why was the book banned?

  • Derogatory towards African Americans, women, and the developmentally disabled
  • Language
  • Violence
  • "Does not represent traditional values"
  • Being unsuited to an age group
  • Betrayal of Jesus Christ


"O.K. Someday—we're gonna get the jack together and we're gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an' a cow and some pigs and—"

"An' live off the fatta the lan'," Lennie shouted. "An' have rabbits. Go on, George! Tell about what we're gonna have in the garden and about the rabbits in the cages and about the rain in the winter and the stove, and how thick the cream is on the milk like you can hardly cut it. Tell about that George."

"Why'n't you do it yourself? You know all of it."

"No…you tell it. It ain't the same if I tell it. Go on…George. How I get to tend the rabbits." (1.119-123)

Themes in the novella:

  • Grim realization of human nature- nearly all the characters in the book feel isolated or lonely. Each character wants to have a comfort of a friend, but results to the ear of a stranger. Through all of this loneliness and isolation, they all choose to destroy someone who is more hurt and more in need of a friend. This shows the profound human truth: that not all oppression comes from the powerful.
  • The American Dream- all of the characters admit to dreaming of another life. Lennie and George that they would own a farm, Curley's wife was that she would be an actress, Candy's that they would own a couple acres of farm, and yet all of these characters settle for something less.

"The answer is that Steinbeck's classic is short, comprising only six chapters, and that its themes continue to be considered relevant to 21st Century society." -BBC News


Maunder, Stephen. "Who, what, why: Why do children study Of Mice and Men?." BBC News. 3 25 11: n. page. Web. 24 Oct. 2013. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12829392>.