Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Guy is a novella written by Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck. Released in 1937, it informs the awful story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch employees, who move from place to location searching for new task opportunities throughout the Great Depression in California, USA. Based upon Steinbeck’s own experiences as a bindlestiff in the 1920s, the title is drawn from Robert Burns’ poem “To a Mouse”, which checked out: “The very best laid plans o’ mice an’ men/ Gang aft agley. Needed reading in lots of schools, Of Mice and Guy has been a frequent target of censors for vulgarity and what some consider offensive and racist language; subsequently, it appears on the American Library Association’s list of one of the most Challenged Books of 21st Century. Plot summary Two migrant field workers in California on their plantation during the Great Anxiety– George Milton, an intelligent but ignorant man, and Lennie Small, a male of large stature and excellent strength however limited brainpowers– are on their way to another part of California in Soledad.
They want to one day achieve their shared dream of calming down by themselves piece of land. Lennie’s part of the dream is merely to tend to soft bunnies on the farm. This dream is one of Lennie’s preferred stories, which George continuously retells. They are fleeing from their previous employment in Weed, California, where they were run out of town after Lennie’s love of rubbing soft things led to an accusation of tried rape when he touched a girl’s gown, and would not let go. It soon becomes clear that the two are buddies and George is Lennie’s protector.
The theme of friendship is constant throughout the story. At the ranch, the situation seems menacing and hazardous, especially when the pair are faced by Curley– the boss’s small-statured aggressive child with an inability complex who dislikes larger guys– leaving the gentle giant Lennie potentially susceptible. Curley’s flirtatious and intriguing other half, to whom Lennie is quickly drawn in, postures an issue as well. In sharp contrast to these two characters, the set also fulfills Slim, the kind, intelligent and instinctive jerkline skinner whose pet has just recently had a litter of pups.
Slim gives a puppy to Lennie. In spite of the possible problems on the cattle ranch, their dream leaps towards truth when Candy, the aged, one-handed cattle ranch hand, offers to pitch in with George and Lennie so that they can purchase a farm at the end of the month in return for approval to cope with them on it. The trio are delighted, however their pleasure is eclipsed when Curley attacks Lennie. In action, Lennie, urged on by George, captures Curley’s fist and crushes it, reminding the group there are still barriers to get rid of before their objective is reached.
Nonetheless, George feels more unwinded, since the dream appears simply within their grasp, to the extent that he even leaves Lennie behind on the ranch while he enters into town with the other ranch hands. Lennie wanders into the stable, and talks with Crooks, the bitter, yet informed stable buck, who is separated from the other employees due to the fact that he is black. Sweet finds them and they discuss their prepare for the farm with Crooks, who can not resist asking them if he can hoe a garden patch on the farm, regardless of scorning the possibility of achieving the dream. Curley’s other half makes another look and flirts with the guys, specifically Lennie.
Nevertheless, her spiteful side is revealed when she belittles them and is particularly extreme towards Criminals because of his race, threatening to have him lynched. Lennie inadvertently kills his puppy while stroking it. Curley’s wife enters the barn and attempts to talk to Lennie, admitting that she is lonesome and how her imagine becoming a film star are crushed, exposing the factor she flirts with the cattle ranch hands. After discovering that Lennie loves stroking soft things, she offers to let him stroke her hair, but panics and begins to shriek when she feels his strength.
Lennie becomes frightened, and in the scuffle, accidentally breaks her neck. When the other ranch hands find the corpse, George unhappily realizes that their dream is at an end. George hurries away to find Lennie, hoping he will be at the meeting point they designated at the start of the novella in case Lennie entered into problem, knowing that there is just one thing he can do to conserve Lennie from the painful death that Curley’s lynch mob means to deliver. George satisfies Lennie at the designated place, the same spot they camped in the night prior to they came to the ranch.
The 2 sit together and George retells the beloved story of the intense future together that they will have, knowing it is something they will never share. He then shoots Lennie in the back of the head, so that his death will be painless and delighted. Curley, Slim, and Carlson find George seconds after the shooting. Only Slim recognizes that George eliminated Lennie out of love, and gently and consolingly leads him away, while Curley and Carlson look on, unable to comprehend the suppressed state of mind of the two guys. Characters
George Milton: A quick-witted guy who is Lennie’s guardian and buddy. His relationship with Lennie helps sustain his imagine a better future. Lennie Small: A psychologically handicapped, however physically strong male who travels with George and is his constant buddy. He dreams of “living off the fatta’ the lan'” and having the ability to tend to rabbits. His love for soft things conspires versus him, mainly due to the fact that he does not know his own strength, and ultimately becomes his undoing. Candy: An aging ranch handyman, Candy lost his hand in an accident and fret about his future on the cattle ranch.
Fearing that his age is making him ineffective, he takes on George’s description of the farm he and Lennie will have, providing his life’s cost savings if he can join George and Lennie in owning the land. The fate of Sweet’s ancient pet dog, which Carlson shoots in the back of the head in a supposed act of grace, foreshadows the manner of Lennie’s death. Slim: A “jerkline skinner,” the primary chauffeur of a mule group and the “prince of the ranch”. Slim is significantly appreciated by much of the characters and is the only character whom Curley treats with respect.
His insight, intuition, compassion and natural authority draw the other cattle ranch hands instantly towards him, and he is significantly the only character to fully understand the bond in between George and Lennie. Curley: The one in charge’ kid, a young, pugnacious character, when a semi-professional boxer. He is explained by others, with some irony, as “handy”, partly due to the fact that he likes to keep a glove filled with vaseline on his left hand, and partly since of Steinbeck’s use of foreshadowing. He is very envious and protective of his wife and immediately establishes a dislike towards Lennie.
At one point, Curley loses his mood after he sees Lennie appear to laugh at him, and ends up with his hand horribly harmed after Lennie battles back against him. Curley’s wife: A young, quite lady, who is mistrusted by her hubby. The other characters refer to her just as “Curley’s partner”. This lack of individual definition highlights this character’s function in the story: Steinbeck explained that she is “not an individual, she’s a symbol. She has no function, except to be a foil– and a risk to Lennie.” The author even more enhances this theme through subtle methods by situating the story ear the town of Soledad, which means “solitude” in Spanish. Regardless of the need for companionship, Steinbeck emphasizes how isolation is sustained through the barriers established from acting inhuman to one another. The isolation of Curley’s wife is upheld by Curley’s jealousy, which triggers all the cattle ranch hands to avoid her. Scoundrels’s barrier results from being barred from the bunkhouse by limiting him to the stable; his bitterness is partially broken, nevertheless, through Lennie’s ignorance. Steinbeck’s characters are often powerless, due to intellectual, financial, and social circumstances.
Lennie possesses the greatest physical strength of any character, which ought to for that reason establish a sense of respect as he is utilized as a ranch hand. Nevertheless, his intellectual handicap undercuts this and results in his powerlessness. Economic powerlessness is established as a number of the ranch hands are victims of the Great Depression. As George, Sweet and Criminals are positive, action- oriented characters, they want to buy a homestead, but because of the Anxiety, they are unable to produce adequate money.
Lennie is the only one who is basically not able to look after himself, but the other characters would do this in the improved situations they look for. Given that they can not do so, the genuine threat of Lennie’s psychological handicap comes to the fore. Regarding human interaction, evil of oppression and abuse is a style that is highlighted through Curley and Curley’s spouse. Curley utilizes his aggressive nature and exceptional position in an attempt to take control of his dad’s farm. He constantly reprimands the farm hands and accuses a few of fooling around with his wife.
Curley’s Napoleon complex is evidenced by his threatening of the farm hands for small incidents. Curley’s spouse, on the other hand, is not physically however verbally manipulative. She uses her sex appeal to get some attention, flirting with the farm hands. According to the Penguin Instructor’s Guide for Of Mice and Guy, Curley and Curley’s better half represent evil because both oppress and abuse the migrants in various methods. Fate is felt most greatly as the characters’ aspirations are destroyed when George is unable to protect Lennie.
Steinbeck provides this as “something that occurred” or as his pal coined for him “non-teleological thinking” or “is believing”, which postulates a non-judgmental point of view. Animal imagery Of Mice and Guy was kept in mind to be a great example of the use of animal imagery. Throughout the course of the novella Steinbeck often utilizes animal images to stress the key themes of mental disorder, bigotry and the inescapable tragedy of the ending. Development Of Mice and Guy was Steinbeck’s very first effort at composing in the form of novel-play described a “play-novelette” by one critic.
Structured in 3 acts of 2 chapters each, it is meant to be both a novella and a script for a play. He wanted to write a novel that might be played from its lines, or a play that might be checked out like a book. Steinbeck originally entitled it Something That Occurred, nevertheless, he changed the title after checking out Robert Burns’s poem To a Mouse. Burns’s poem informs of the regret the narrator feels for having actually ruined the house of a mouse while plowing his field. Steinbeck composed this book and The Grapes of Rage in what is now Monte Sereno, California.
An early draft of the book was consumed by Steinbeck’s pet dog, called Max. Reception Obtaining the greatest positive reaction of any of his develop to that time, Steinbeck’s novella was chosen as a Book of the Month Club choice prior to it was released. Applaud for the work originated from numerous noteworthy critics, including Maxine Garrard, Christopher Morley, and Harry Thornton Moore. New York Times critic Ralph Thompson explained the novella as a “grand little book, for all its ultimate melodrama. The novella has actually been banned from different United States public and school libraries or curricula for apparently “promoting euthanasia”, “excusing racial slurs”, being “anti-business”, containing blasphemy, and normally including “repulsive” and “offensive language”. A lot of the bans and limitations have been raised and it stays required reading in many other American, Australian, Irish, British, New Zealand and Canadian high schools. As an outcome of being a regular target of censors, Of Mice and Guy appears on the American Library Association’s list of one of the most Challenged Books of 21st Century.
Although this book is commonly popular there are numerous controversies surrounding its material that have led Of Mice and Guy to become censored in school districts around the nation. Of Mice and Guy has been challenged 54 times since it was released in 1936. Nevertheless, scholars like Thomas Scarseth have battled to safeguard the book by citing its literary value. According to Scarseth “in real excellent literature the pain of Life is transmuted into the charm of Art”, therefore it is through the controversy that people can begin to value.
Cultural Impact The character of Lennie Small is utilized as the requirement for legal mental retardation for carrying out a prisoner in Texas. If an individual appears smarter than Lennie Small in an interview then he may be executed. If he does not then he can not comprehend his criminal offense. John Steinbeck’s son, Thomas Steinbeck, who is personally against the death sentence, has objected that this legal practice is a misappropriation and insult of his dad’s work.