Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Essay

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Essay

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Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck was born on 27 Feb 1902 in Salinas, California, not far
from the area where Of Mice and Men is set. He attended Stanford
University, but never settled to one area of study and left without
obtaining a degree.

In his twenties, he pursued a varied working life, including that of
an itinerant ranch worker, similar to the characters portrayed in the
novel. His early writings had some success, and established him as an
author interested in social problems.

'Of Mice and Men' was first published in 1937, and was immediately
successful, earning Steinbeck a wide reputation.

Steinbeck enjoyed even greater success with the full-length novel The
Grapes of Wrath (1939), which won him the Pulitzer Prize in 1940. He
wrote a number of other novels such as Cannery Row and In Dubious
Battle, as well as Short Stories such as The Red Pony and The Pearl.

The latter two stories are frequently studied as school texts.

However, most critics agree that Steinbeck's later works don't quite
match up to his earlier efforts. Nevertheless, he was awarded the
Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 "...for his realistic as well as
imaginative writings, distinguished by a sympathetic humour and a keen
social perception.".

Steinbeck died 20 Dec 1968.

Overall Plot.

George and Lennie are two migrant American labourers, who share a
dream; that one day they may buy a farm, and Lennie will be able to
take care of the rabbits.

Although Lennie is physically very strong and has the body of a man,
he has the mind of a child.

The two men arrive on a ranch near the town of Soledad, where they are
about to start work as barley buckers. On arriving there, they meet
Candy, an old o...


... middle of paper ...


...il the 'sof' things' that Lennie pets in the novel, showing that
the petting grows more serious as the novel goes on.

Describe in some detail the incident where Lennie crushes Curley's
hand. What does this incident reveal about each of these two
characters?

While Curley is physically aggressive towards Lennie, his wife is
sexually provocative. Show how these two characters create trouble for
Lennie, and combine to cause his death.

Many people in the novel suffer from disappointment. Choose any three
of the following characters and discuss what reasons they have to be
disappointed about their life: Crooks - Curley - George - Candy

Which character do you feel most sorry for in this story? Explain your
choice by referring closely to the events of the novel.

Slim is the only character in the novel who is not handicapped in some
way. Do you agree?

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