of Mice and Men

By John Steinbeck

Novel summary

The story of mice and men are about two good friends George and Lennie, as they take on a new job working on a ranch in central California "bucking barley" for the ranch owner and his son. At this time this was hard to get a job because america was going through the great depression.

George and Lennie. Start at the Salinas River where they discuss their past, discussing how they have come to be here and where they are going .The men have come from "up north" where Lennie has done something that got the men chased out of town. They are on their way to a ranch where they have been hired as farm hands.

The two men get to the ranch the following day, begin work, and meet the other characters of the novel. These characters are a mixture of ranch hands and ranch owners. Lennie meets the boss's son, Curley, and is threatened by him. The men also meet Curley's wife. George predicts that she will bring trouble to them. Lennie feels the threat from both Curley and Curley's wife as well saying:

“I don’t like this place, George. This ain’t no good place. I wanna get outta here.”

Then there series of conversations relating to isolation, dreams of financial' and social upward movement, and general fear/intimidation. The story reaches its climax after Lennie kills Curley's wife and runs back to the Salinas River.

The story is concluded as George shoots Lennie.

Author biography

Born on February 27, 1902, in Salinas, California, John Steinbeck dropped out of college and worked as a manual laborer before achieving success as a writer. His 1939 novel, The Grapes of Wrath, about the migration of a family from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl to California, won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. Steinbeck worked as a war reporter during World War II, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. He died in New York City in 1968.

charcter descriptions

theme analaysis

Theme of the book is the beauty of a dream, for it gives a person a purpose in life. George and Lennie dream of owning a farm that they can call their own and where Lennie can raise rabbits and stay out of trouble, free from the constraints of society. Both men constantly keep this dream in front of them. In fact, Lennie asks George to repeat the dream over and over. George, himself, refuses to frivolously spend any money, for he is saving every dime to buy the land. The dream keeps both of them working.

Curlys wife and crooks laugh at the idea.the dream of Lennie and George as being unrealistic, but Candy sees its possibility and its beauty. He offers to give his life savings to help make the dream a reality, for he wants to join George and Lennie on the farm, living out his last days in happiness. When the two men accept Candy, he suddenly has a new lease on life; the dream has given him hope for a better future.

charcter devlopment

George : george devloped in his innner self because as soon as lennie had confess his snapping of curlys wife neck and he told George to kill him so curly wont half too talk care pfblennie and watch out for him when he died his spitefulness for being his care taker died and he relized his friendship died too

Candy : Candy’s fears. Past accomplishments and current emotional ties matter little, as Carson makes clear when he insists that Candy let him put the dog out of its misery. In such a world, Candy’s dog serves as a harsh reminder of the fate that awaits anyone who outlives his usefulness.

For a brief time, however, the dream of living out his days with George and Lennie on their dream farm distracts Candy from this harsh reality. He deems the few acres of land they describe worthy of his hard-earned life’s savings, which testifies to his desperate need to believe in a world kinder than the one in which he lives. Like George, Candy clings to the idea of having the freedom to take up or set aside work as he chooses. So strong is his devotion to this idea that, even after he discovers that Lennie has killed Curley’s wife, he pleads for himself and George to go ahead and buy the farm as planned.

Crooks. Crooks . Like most of the characters in the story, he admits that he is extremely lonely. When Lennie visits him in his room, his reaction reveals this fact. At first, he turns Lennie away, hoping to prove a point that if he, as a black man, is not allowed in white men’s houses, then whites are not allowed . Like Curley’s wife, Crooks is a disempowered. character who turns his vulnerability into a weapon to attack those who are even weaker.


seen hundreds 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.

Lennie shares with Crooks his plan to buy a farm with George and raise rabbits, Crooks tries to kill Lennie’s hopes. He compares that “hundreds” of men have passed through the ranch, all of them with dreams similar to Lennie’s. Not one of them, he says with bitterness ever manages to make that dream come true. Crooks puts the scene with a sense of reality., if not the childlike Lennie, that the dream of a farm is, after all, only a dream. This moment establishes Crooks’s character, showing how a lifetime of loneliness and oppression can become as cruelty. It shows tht even though crooks is oppressed in life those are the same people who will put others down too.