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Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men is John Steinbeck’s novel, published in 1937. It tells the tragic story of two hard workers during the Great Depression in California. The story relates to such concepts as dream, guilt, and sympathy. The book is based on personal experience of Steinbeck, who worked in agriculture in the 1920s.

The themes of the first novel that brought fame to the author, Of Mice and Men, were alienation and loneliness of a man in the conditions of exploiting society. The narrative is deeply pessimistic. It is characterized by the words of one of the characters: Don’t you know that the hell is everywhere around us. In describing the life of two country laborers wandering around, Steinbeck truly shows how fear and humiliation cripple the souls of people, pushing them to the cruel deeds, and hard work makes them disabled.

The plot tells about two stray hard workers, George and Lennie, who wander around California during the Great Depression in search of work. George is a clever and cautious man, his friend Lenny is mentally retarded, but a very strong guy (also he likes everything small, especially mice). Together they come to the farm near Soledad with the aim to earn money doing seasonal field work. Lenny dreams of rabbits and other domestic animals, and George maintains that dream, telling him about their plan to buy a small area and live happily. On the farm, Curley, a son of a farm owner, starts to pick on them for no obvious reason. Later, he begins to beat Lenny, who is afraid of him as a child, but George shouts at him, telling him to hit back. Lenny grabs Curley’s wrist, which makes the bones crush.

One day, when all the workers were participating in the competition on a throwing horseshoes, Lenny plays with a puppy in the barn, and accidentally kills him. Then Curley’s wife comes and starts the conversation, from which it is clear that she is unhappy. During the conversation, Lenny also unintentionally kills a woman, not proportioning his power, and runs away.

Upon learning of the murder, Curley and farm workers start chasing Lennie to lynch him. George is ahead of them; he finds his companion and kills him with a shot in the head, saving him from the death of a martyr, which would be waiting for him in the hands of Curley.

Lennie in Steinbeck’s representation symbolizes the people, who are not aware of their power. The story can be seen as a parable about the great power of people, which, blindly breaking out, almost always brings destruction.

By analyzing the phenomenon of group community in the story, Steinbeck came to the conclusion that social organism formed by aggregate of individuals has a racial soul, collective memory, propensity for disruptiveness, and movements in the environmental space.

Of Mice and Men is John Steinbeck’s novel, published in 1937. It tells the tragic story of two hard workers during the Great Depression in California. The story relates to such concepts as dream, guilt, and sympathy. The book is based on personal experience of Steinbeck, who worked in agriculture in the 1920s.

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Assignment ID
100001022
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CREATED ON
August 28, 2016
COMPLETED ON
August 29, 2016
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$18
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