Of Mice And Men

Of Mice And Men

Paperback | February 1, 1994

byJohn SteinbeckIntroduction bySusan Shillinglaw

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A controversial tale of friendship and tragedy during the Great Depression

Over seventy-five years since its first publication, Steinbeck’s tale of commitment, loneliness, hope, and loss remains one of America’s most widely read and taught novels. An unlikely pair, George and Lennie, two migrant workers in California during the Great Depression, grasp for their American Dream. They hustle work when they can, living a hand-to-mouth existence. For George and Lennie have a plan: to own an acre of land and a shack they can call their own. When they land jobs on a ranch in the Salinas Valley, the fulfillment of their dream seems to be within their grasp. But even George cannot guard Lennie from the provocations, nor predict the consequences of Lennie's unswerving obedience to the things George taught him.

Of Mice and Men represents an experiment in form, which Steinbeck described as “a kind of playable novel, written in a novel form but so scened and set that it can be played as it stands.” A rarity in American letters, it achieved remarkable success as a novel, a Broadway play, and three acclaimed films. This edition features an introduction by Susan Shillinglaw, one of today’s leading Steinbeck scholars.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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Of Mice And Men

Paperback | February 1, 1994
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From Our Editors

While the powerlessness of the laboring class in a recurring theme in this classic work, Steinbeck narrows his focus, creating an intimate portrait of two men facing a world marked by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness--a parable about commitment, loneliness, hope, and loss

From the Publisher

A controversial tale of friendship and tragedy during the Great Depression Over seventy-five years since its first publication, Steinbeck’s tale of commitment, loneliness, hope, and loss remains one of America’s most widely read and taught novels. An unlikely pair, George and Lennie, two migrant workers in California during the Great D...

John Steinbeck, born in Salinas, California, in 1902, grew up in a fertile agricultural valley, about twenty-five miles from the Pacific Coast. Both the valley and the coast would serve as settings for some of his best fiction. In 1919 he went to Stanford University, where he intermittently enrolled in literature and writing courses un...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 9.8 × 7.2 × 0.25 inPublished:February 1, 1994Publisher:Penguin Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140186425

ISBN - 13:9780140186420

Appropriate for ages: 18 - 18

Customer Reviews of Of Mice And Men

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heart Renching This story os so brilliant and I am so glad I was made to read it at school. It puts you through so many emotions and gives you a real look into Lenny's world!
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heart Retching This story os so brilliant and I am so glad I was made to read it at school. It puts you through so many emotions and gives you a real look into Lenny's world!
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great This book is incredibly well constructed. It's a quick read and definitely worth checking out.
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic A classic piece of enjoyable literature, not suitable for some tastes.
Date published: 2016-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from love this book! this a classic that is a must read!
Date published: 2016-11-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting Interesting but really sad, and the plot never really develops. It feels like the story is just about the ending. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Old but still worthwhile I read this back in high school. It was interesting to read about the laborers of that time period, and the story really does pack a punch, but it doesn't do much other than that (even though it does it quite well). A quick, easy, and (mostly) harmless read.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gorgeous Novel This novel made my heart swoon. It is exceptional and a must read.
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from High school favourite I was captivated by this beautiful story when I first read it as a 14 year old. The characters came alive for me, which was both fun and heartbreaking. A must read in my opinion.
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic This is a classic story of friendship and the ups and downs of life. This is also a great way to learn about life in the depression, but the story is universal in its themes, conflicts, and characters.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book-of mice and men I bought this book three days ago, took me the same number of days to read it. I remember reading it in High-School for my french course, and I wanted the original language as a novel.
Date published: 2014-04-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A classic! I had read Steinbeck in both high school and university–though to say I actually “read” him in high school would be a mistake. I had to read The Grapes of Wrath and write a paper about it. I found the book to be so boring that I couldn’t even make it past the first few pages without falling asleep. When university came, I had to read Of Mice and Men for one of my courses. Feeling a little leery about reading more Steinbeck, I was reassured by its short length. I picked it up recently because of its volume and portability. It was a quick read, but with so many messages within. In fact, it was quite a depressing read, but the way that Steinbeck puts his stories together, it’s hard not to be taken with the beautiful descriptions and the flowing dialogue. One of the themes of this book is most definitely innocence. We see it in Lenny and we see it in the old dog. With Lenny’s innocence, it’s easy to enjoy the banter and friendship between him and George. The imagery that Steinbeck conjures is so great that the whole story will stick with you. The comparison between Lenny and the old dog are both tragic and horrifying. Just like the old dog having to rely on his master to get through each day, Lenny has to rely on George. He can’t be blamed for the crimes that he does, yet others just can’t see it that way. This really is a book that should be read more in schools–it’s a real eye-opener. Touching, sad, and timeless, Of Mice and Men is a classic that should be read in every generation.
Date published: 2012-01-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another favorite of mine from high school Was very intrigued by the story and felt for the characters.
Date published: 2010-04-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Completely Surprised! I didn't think that I would become this attached to a novel for school. It was such a great, well-written story that was very intriguing. The characters are so interesting and well rounded, they aren't what they seem and you'll never know what they'll do next. It was defiantly a massive change going from reading Teen Fantasy novels, to a Brilliant Classic published in 1937. John Steinback is defiantly an author that no one should forget, he has created this fantastic story that keeps you interested right until the end. All 107 pages of it is pure greatness. This story takes place in California, during the Great Depression. We are introduced to many characters but there are two that we follow; George Milton, a small, short, intelligent man who travels with Lennie Small--who isn't small at all. He is a big, burly fellow who is mentally disabled. Lennie causes George a lot of trouble, but he is like a giant teddy bear, he means no harm. They are heading to a ranch in Soledad, California. They hope to accomplish their dream of having a shack, owning land and having animals like cows and rabbits. Lennie can't wait to "tend the rabbits", Lennie loves to pet soft things; If it's a rabbit, a mouse, or even a girl's dress Lennie wants to touch it. That's what forced them to flee Weed, Lennie touched a girl's dress, she screamed, and he held on. This time, George has to make sure that Lennie doesn't cause trouble at the ranch, because they won't achieve their dream... They arrive at the ranch and George can already sense trouble, he tells Lennie to stay away from certain people, but who's to say Lennie will do what he says. We meet a character with one hand, a crippled black ranch-hand, a greatly respected worker, a sneaky woman, and a self-absorbed, protective enemy. In the matter of only a couple of days, this story unravels. This is the story of two men who are doing everything they can to reach their dream. George knows that he would have a carefree life without Lennie, but he's his pal, and pratically his brother. I was attached to this book because of the strong companionship the two of them have, George gets angry at Lennie sometimes but he sticks by his side. It was quite an emotional book, and if my friends wouldn't have spoiled some parts I would have cried--for sure! My heart went out to all the characters, and I only wish that this book was longer! 2010-017
Date published: 2010-03-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it! Had to read this for school, but loved it anyway! One of many classic GOOD books!
Date published: 2009-10-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really gooood WOWoooo!!! Never heard about this John Steinbeck...but his book was sooo touching. I fell in love with the characters, each one of them. It is worth reading because theses are real feelings of real people. This is real life! you'll find yourself cryin' and smiling with them... absolutly loved it
Date published: 2009-07-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from enjoyed it I love stories that make you contemplate them for days or weeks after you have finished them and even superior are stories that stay with you for a lifetime. "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck classifies as one of those books in my life. The only problem with the book is that it is short, but maybe that is what makes it so appealing. It is a simple story with complex themes, which involve so many layers of characters and problems in society. George and Lennie are travelling companions, with George being the leader who is slight in body build and Lennie being mentally handicapped and large in stature. George and Lennie travel from farm to farm looking for labour. Lennie is sworn into silence during the interviews because if the employer finds out Lennie is mentally handicapped they will not hire him. Lennie has to remain silent until they see how strong he is and how much work he can do, Lennie is able to work more then most men combined. If this was all there was to George and Lennie the book would be done, but Lennie has a problem. Lennie loves soft things and cannot stop himself from stroking them. It is tolerable when he accidentally kills mice while stroking them and even the death of the puppy is forgivable though a greater crime, but when it comes to the death of a human the crime becomes too great even if not done in malice. I often wondered throughout the book why George stuck with Lennie, and the book never explains why in a clear way that makes the reader say "Oh, that's why he stayed". Sometimes I thought it was out of kindness, other times I thought it was because Lennie was stronger physically and George needed him to get and keep employment, and other times I considered it may have been due to the need of human companionship. "Of Mice and Men" is unquestionably a book I will read again and I am certain it will feel like welcoming an old friend.
Date published: 2008-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Of Mice and Men I love stories that make you contemplate them for days or weeks after you have finished them and even superior are stories that stay with you for a lifetime. "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck classifies as one of those books in my life. The only problem with the book is that it is short, but maybe that is what makes it so appealing. It is a simple story with complex themes, which involve so many layers of characters and problems in society. George and Lennie are travelling companions, with George being the leader who is slight in body build and Lennie being mentally handicapped and large in stature. George and Lennie travel from farm to farm looking for labour. Lennie is sworn into silence during the interviews because if the employer finds out Lennie is mentally handicapped they will not hire him. Lennie has to remain silent until they see how strong he is and how much work he can do, Lennie is able to work more then most men combined. If this was all there was to George and Lennie the book would be done, but Lennie has a problem. Lennie loves soft things and cannot stop himself from stroking them. It is tolerable when he accidentally kills mice while stroking them and even the death of the puppy is forgivable though a greater crime, but when it comes to the death of a human the crime becomes too great even if not done in malice. I often wondered throughout the book why George stuck with Lennie, and the book never explains why in a clear way that makes the reader say “Oh, that’s why he stayed”. Sometimes I thought it was out of kindness, other times I thought it was because Lennie was stronger physically and George needed him to get and keep employment, and other times I considered it may have been due to the need of human companionship. “Of Mice and Men” is unquestionably a book I will read again and I am certain it will feel like welcoming an old friend.
Date published: 2008-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Story Telling This is an enjoyable read. Steinbeck is such a great story teller and I have yet to be disappointed by one of his books. No matter what he is writing about, his words continuously hold the reader's attention and keeps them turning pages. You can turn to this book to look for deeper meanings or just for an enjoyable read.
Date published: 2008-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Literary Marvel A great story told by a great writer. I think I was maybe 14 or 15 years old when I first read this small powerhouse of a book about two drifters who dream of a place to call thier own. It was also the first time a book made me cry. I think the most lasting impact this story had on me was that through the relationship of George and the simple-minded giant Lenny, I first discovered the complexities, contradictions, and sacrifices of human love. What better lesson can a book offer ? Definately one of my all- time favorite books.
Date published: 2008-01-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Boring!!! this was one of the worst books i have ever read... i was glad that it was short though.
Date published: 2007-12-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from tend rabbits Of Mice and Men This one of those books that makes you just wonder what the author was really thinking and what message they really wanted to convey. This books grabs you from the beginning and never lets go just when you think it is ok to take a breath Steinbeck gives you something else to choke on. The plot of this book goes as follows in the beginning we find two men running from the law, one slower one named Lennie and the brains of the operations George. George was asked by Lennie aunt Clara to watch over him when she dies. After getting in trouble the two find themselves on a new ranch working. Right as they stood foot and the ranch they were already outcastes by the boss’s son Curley. Lennie was for warned to stay away from him but when day they was not the case and it resulted in Curley getting a broken hand. Now that things have died down a bit the two settle in for a long while and makes friends with a lot of people. They meet this old swamper named Candy and they hatch a plan to one day open their own farm and live of the fat of the land. Lennie is given a puppy and he goes and starts to pet it, Lennie dose not know his own strength. Lennie snaps the dogs a neck and tries to hide it from people. That only last until Curleys wife finds the dead puppy beside Lennie and tries to worn the others. Now we see a bit of the beginning but this time only Lennie is being chased by the law and the farmers. To conclude the plat summery on their dream....well your just going to have a read it for yourself. Some of the major issues in this novel our that Lennie is very slow and George has to tend to him hand and foot this give us the excitement of the book. Other issues were that Lennie was a lot stronger then he looks and that everything that he touched seemed to die or get very injured. This why is the beginning of the book they find themselves running from the law and trying not to get caught and getting hung. Most messages in this book are very strong and clear with direct remarks to racism and other discrimination in the older days of this book. Other messages in this book I see are just because the person is different that dose not mean they cant get the job done right and on time. I really enjoyed this book and the way the author wrote this book. He use very interesting point of view and ways to pass them on. The strong point of this book are definitely the way the writing is each chapter wants you to just keep reading little bit more and more. Other strong points in this book are the character traits and the way that every character had a distinctive way of personalizing themselves. Some weak points are maybe he could have gone a little longer book to fit in a little more detail and add more to each scene and there climax. The novel had a little affect on me more towards the fact that the way people and workers were treated after all they were the ones that kept every farm running and the money coming in. The novel makes you open your eyes especially being the younger crowd that racism was a big deal and really was an upfront issue back in those day. I would read this book again some day down in the future. My final thoughts on this book are that it was a very good book and I would recommend this book to any body who wanted a good old fashion novel. I rate this novel 3 out of 5 stars and would say that all people should read Steinbeck novel or any other novel that he has written for that matter. I would say that this book would be good for all ages and any skill level.
Date published: 2005-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from of mice and men Of mice and men is about two main characters; Lennie and George. It starts off with these two starting off in weed where Lennie caused a problem with touching a women’s soft dress. They moved to another work place trying to succeed their dream. One other person got added to their dream, Candy. They worked all day and played all games at night. Some major issues in this story were that Lennie had a problem with his self-control. He couldn’t control his actions and his fetish with soft things got him into serious trouble. He touched a women’s dress once because of his obsession and she cried rape. Friendship plays a major role in this novel. The farm hands all seem to be sympathetic to one another’s situations and predicaments. Of course, George and Lennie form the centerpiece of the importance of friendship in the story. The author’s style was very outgoing. He made sure to explain everything. He made every chapter ending suspense; it makes you not want to stop reading. The books strong points are mostly with the description of all the characters and how they all play their roles. A couple other strong points are; characters personalities, the problems that happen and the stories theme. The weak points are the way the story ends as well as how everything is basically the same thing everyday. This novel had an amazing effect on me. How because the way the story was written. It made me realize how life can really work and the way it was written it made me want to read it all over again. Every character has an amazing personality and some how in some way they can all connect to you in some way or as you may call it in a strange way. This book I would recommend for someone who loves adventure and a lot of suspense. This is an amazing book for someone into adventure to read. This is a book that I would have to say deserves five stars. Why because of the way it was put together and all the mysteries that happen in the book. It’s a book that drags you in and you just don’t want to stop reading it. It just has an amazing peel to it.
Date published: 2005-12-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is a story of two poor men full of hope, the hardships the experience, and their adventure to make their dream come true. After an incident with a previous employer, George and Lennie are sent to find new work on a ranch in California. The two men are bound to each other for life. Lennie (a strong, loving man, who is slow, and unaware of his great strength) and George (a smart and kind man) are working to make their dream come true. When they arrive on the Ranch, they meet many different characters like C urley, their boss’s son who is an arrogant ex-boxer, and dislikes larger men, Candy, who is an old man with one hand, and a heart of gold, and Slim, who is the dominant worker of the ranch. A major issue in this novel is Lennie’s subconscious strength. He does not realize his true strength, and it creates some conflict for him and his caretaker George. George (no matter how much trouble he gets him in) cannot leave Lennie. Neither men have noone else, and they stick together through everything. A key issue in this novel is the importance of friendship which is illustrated through the constant guidance of Lennie from George, and is consistent until the end. After researching Steinbeck, and learning about his past employment experience, it is neat to see how he approached this piece. This book was in my opinion well written. Steinbeck used very effective language, and style of writing. I found in more than one area of this novel, I just did not want to put it down. This novel was very exciting. It kept me emotionally tied to a few of the characters. There is no way that you can read this novel, and not get emotionally attached. Every character is very different from the next, which makes for a very great story. Though it is a great story, the poor grammar of the men eventually starts to get to you when you read this novel. Other than that, there isn’t anything that would motivate me to give this novel anything but a great review. I would have to give Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, four out of five stars. I recommend this novel to anyone looking for a great read, that can put up with the poor speech of the men.
Date published: 2005-12-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is a heart warming novel that takes you through the adventures of two men, George and Lennie, in hopes to find the American Dream. Lennie’s Aunt Clara took care of Lennie because he is disabled. When Aunt Clara died, George ( a friend of Aunt Clara ) took over the responsibility of tending to Lennie. Lennie always caused trouble for George and constantly needed to be cared for as Lennie could not do anything responsible on his own. George and Lennie found a job in Weed, where Lennie accidentally screwed up, and the two men had to run away. Soon after, George and Lennie found a job South of Soledad, California near the Salinas River where they bucked barley for Boss. George made a lot of friends there, however Lennie had some troubles. This tragic novel displays the corrupting power of female sexuality. The two jobs Lennie and George had together were the only two jobs they got run out of, because of pretty women. It also displays loneliness and companionship. George and Lennie travel everywhere together as they’re dependant on each other, which turns out to be a heart warming friendship. Lennie, Crooks, Candy and Curley’s wife display loneliness throughout this novel. Lennie is an outcast because he has a disability, Crooks isn’t welcome in most situations because he’s black, Candy is the old man who has no use, and Curley’s wife was supposed to be a star in Hollywood who is now settled to live on a ranch where she doesn’t belong. Most of the novel, however, is based on strengths and weakness. Lennie’s weakness is soft things and intimidation, his strength was power. George’s strength is putting up wit George. The authors style of writing was well presented leaving the reader knowing Steinbeck wanted his novel to be sentimental, tragic and pessimistic. All in all it was a very fulfilling novel. The novel had some very noticeable strong points throughout, such as the meaning behind friendship and. Loneliness and companionship are two key components in this novel. At one point or another, most of the characters within this novel admit to being lonely in attempt to reach out for a feeling of equality. Companionship is also a strong point. A lot of the novel, Of Mice and Men, is based on the companionship between Lennie and George and the decisions they make based on their friendship. There was one weak point in the novel, Lennie’s character. Lennie’s lack of personality, mildly brought down the book due to too much repetition in Lennie’s character. This novel by John Steinbeck was very fulfilling and enjoyable. It reminded me of the importance of friendship. George and Lennie are dependant upon one another, however after being around each other all the time, they became good friends. In conclusion, Of Mice and Men was a very inspiring piece of literature which will leave you thinking about the important things in life. This novel will leave you thinking about the sacrifices you’d be willing to make for others and the strength of the friendships you have around you. It is a very well written novel that will make you think about the lives of those less fortunate. Because of Lennie’s character and Georges endless efforts to be there for George, this novel teaches the importance of having someone to talk to regardless the situation. It was a very well written, and well thought out novel, which I enjoyed.
Date published: 2005-12-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Of MIce and Men John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is a touching story of two men that rely on each other’s company, and companionship throughout their life. Lennie who is a loving, yet slow minded man, and George, who holds everything together, travel the countryside looking for work. Lennie and George move often because Lennie seems to always get himself into trouble, and George, being the faithful friend he is, goes with him. In this story, the two man are on a ranch south of Soledad, and run into plenty of troubles, including problems with Curley, who is the boss’s son, and his wife. Even though Lennie and George have their fair share of problems, they always seem to make it by. In this story, Lennie loves it when George talks about their future, and every chance Lennie gets, Lennie asks George to retell it to him, with perfect detail. Near the end of the book, the biggest test of Lennie and Georges friendship comes into play, it’s an ending you don’t want to miss. In this novel Lennie is oblivious to how much strength he actually has, which results in a lot of problems for him. Also, as time progresses, then men begin to make friends as well as enemies, and this results in conflict after conflict. This novel was based on friendship and loyalty towards people you love, and I believe the author did a marvellous job in presenting that with his story. This point proves most powerful towards the end of the book, when Lennie needs George the most, he is there with him. The author’s style in this book is old fashioned, yet good for an older and younger reader. Some of the book’s strong points would be when George and Lennie are alone and talking about their future, as well as when characters have to go through hard times, such as Candy, George, Curley, and Lennie. The author knew how to draw the reader in and not let them go. Although the author had a lot of strong points, some of his weak points would be that it didn’t explain anything at the end of the book, and it just ended. I would have liked to see more added on to the end to see what happens between everyone. The novel left a lasting impression on me, and that was to treat family and friends as well as you can, because no matter what you do they will always be there for you. Most of the characters were characters that you could relate to, which made it easy for me to love or hate them. When bad things happened to them, I found myself crying, that’s how much of a hold these characters have on the reader. For me to rate this novel, I would give it a strong 4 out of 5, because it was an awesome novel, but it could have improved on some areas. I would recommend this book to any audience who wants to read about friendship and loyalty. I think if anyone has the chance to read this novel they should, its an awesome time.
Date published: 2005-12-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from john steinbeck! ok this is a very good book..its a classic. You have to pay very close attention to the way the story is written and how each and every character is portrayed and created in such a successful way by the author. There is much sybolism that one must understand because if you don't you'll just be lost.
Date published: 2005-09-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It's a Lennie World The dialogue in this book was a little disengaging at first. You know how in soap operas the actors sometimes give life histories in the middle of everyday conversations? Such was the case here. In both scenarios it comes across as phoney. It's not that real people don't ever talk about their past, but usually it's not all revealed at once. A reader (or viewer) needs to know the characters' histories of course, but it could be done in way that doesn't distract from authenticity. That said, the story was so great and the characters were so flawlessly written, Steinbeck rescued the tale. A sad tale, it follows the ambitious-but-lower-working-class duo of Lennie and George as they come (at least in their own imaginations) closer to their dream. These two characters are immensely compelling (not to mention the minor characters who lead their own intriguing lives). At first I was drawn to George; a very human character. He uses Lennie to help him reach his goal, but you don't hate him for it. It is obvious that despite this, the relationship is symbiotic. Lennie needs George to care for him and help him reach his goal as well. And it is obvious the two love each other either because or despite of this. As the book progressed though, it was Lennie's character that drew me in. Lennie is a simpleton, to be sure, but he was the best representation of the American Dream (a poor term- aren't most of us in the Western industrialized world living the same dream to some extent?). All of our fancy toys are Lennie's furry friends. We want them and are naive about the consequences; dead puppies or sweatshops. Despite the unbelievable dialogue early in the book, the characters are still believable in themselves. Evil is rarely black and white and Steinbeck didn't forget this for one second.
Date published: 2003-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from of mice and men It was such a good novel I've ever read. I like the authors ideas so much. The author used similies widely, and the characters are well organized.
Date published: 2003-07-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A great quality story. Pure American vulgarism and detail. John Steinbeck has touched the many with this wonderful peice of work. A classic story that will want you to keep reading this again and again.
Date published: 2003-06-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good I would have to congratulate the author for creating such an interesting plot in a short novel. The author wrote the right amount of detail you would need to understand the next situation. It's a wonderful book and should be read (it doesn't take much of your time).
Date published: 2002-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Of Mice and Men Wow! What an awesome book! Of Mice and Men really portrays awesome aspects of how different people are living. From the beginning of the story to the end I was in awe of how caring and warm Lennie was, but still by the evil ways George treated him and manipulated him. The suspense keeps building and building so you keep reading and reading. It was awesome!
Date published: 2001-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Of Mice And Men this deserves a 5*, well that's what i think even though the ending isn't much of my fav...but the story is a really good one for student to study even though i dont't see why it is only for students literature instead of just a book. the story is good, the meaning, foreshadowing and the humor and stuff are really should be 1! i tell you this is worth reading not just because it is a school study!
Date published: 2001-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent!!! This novel definitely deserves the reputation it deserves. Very descriptive, interesting and a turn pager! Anyone who enjoys reading will like this one!!!
Date published: 2001-02-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not The Best Book But okay This was not the best book I have studied in school but it was not the worst. In my view I agree that the book should be read but maybe not by grade 9 students.
Date published: 2000-02-17

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INTRODUCTIONWhen John Steinbeck accepted his Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962, he described the writer's obligation as "dredging up to the light our dark and dangerous dreams for the purpose of improvement." For some critics, that purpose has obscured Steinbeck's literary value. He has been characterized variously as an advocate of socialist-style solutions to the depredations of capitalism, a champion of individualism, a dabbler in sociobiology, and a naturalist.While evidence for different political and philosophical stances may be culled from Steinbeck's writings, a reader who stops at this point misses some of the most interesting aspects of his work, including his use of paradox. "Men is supposed to think things out," insists Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath. "It ought to have some meaning" (p. 55). But in this epic novel, as well as in Of Mice and Men and The Pearl, Steinbeck seems to question whether the mysteries of human existence can ever be fully explained. In these works that span the grim decade from 1937 to 1947, Steinbeck urges the dispossessed to challenge a system that denies them both sustenance and dignity, and to seek the spiritual belonging that enables individuals to achieve their full humanity. So we have the paradox of the author apparently denouncing injustice while also exalting acceptance of the sorrows visited on humanity, whether those sorrows are wrought by nature or by humans themselves.All three books examine the morality and necessity of actions the characters choose as they pursue their dreams. The poor fisherman Kino in The Pearl dreams of education for his son and salvation for his people. We first meet him in the dimness before dawn, listening to the sounds of his wife, Juana, at her chores, which merge in his mind with the ancestral Song of the Family. "In this gulf of uncertain light [where] there were more illusions than realities" (p. 19), the pearl that Kino finds lights the way to a more just world and the end of centuries of mistreatment by white colonizers. But the promise of wealth manifests the archetypal evil hidden in the community's unconscious, like the pearl that had lain hidden in its oyster at the bottom of the sea. As the dream turns dark, Kino descends into violence, bringing death to four men and ultimately to his own son. What other choices might he have made? This parable raises questions about our relationship to nature, the human need for spiritual connection, and the cost of resisting injustice.Steinbeck's most controversial work, The Grapes of Wrath, raises similar questions. During the Dust Bowl Era, three generations of the Joad family set out on the road, seeking a decent life in fertile California and joining thousands of others bound by an experience that transforms them from "I" to "we" (p. 152). Cooperation springs up among them spontaneously, in sharp contrast with the ruthlessness of big business and the sad choices made by its victims, for whom "a fella got to eat" (p. 344) is a continual refrain. Casy, the preacher turned strike leader, wonders about the "one big soul ever'body's a part of" (p. 24).On their journey to the promised land, the characters in The Grapes of Wrath confront enigmatic natural forces and dehumanizing social institutions. Casy is martyred as he takes a stand for farmers who have lost their land to drought and are brutally exploited as migrant laborers. His disciple Tom Joad, who served time for killing a man in a bar fight, ultimately kills another man he believes responsible for Casy's death. Tom's passionate conviction—expressed in his assertion that "wherever they's a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there" (p. 419)—stirs our sympathy; but his dilemma, like Kino's, requires us to ask whether taking a human life can ever be justified.The Grapes of Wrath and The Pearl are also linked by their female characters and the questions they raise about gender roles and family identity. In The Pearl, Juana's "quality of woman, the reason, the caution, the sense of preservation, could cut through Kino's manness and save them all" (p. 59). Is this quality most responsible for the return of the pearl to the sea at the end of the novel? Like Juana, Ma Joad is "the citadel of the family" (p. 74). As the remnants of the Joad family seek refuge in a barn at the close of The Grapes of Wrath, Ma's daughter Rose of Sharon nurses a starving stranger with milk meant for her dead baby. This final scene of female nurturing offers a resolution while also disturbing our long-held ideas about family.Steinbeck departs from this depiction of women in Of Mice and Men. Confined to her husband's home, and never given a name in the novel, Curley's wife functions almost as a force of nature, precipitating the events that wreck the men's "best laid schemes," as poet Robert Burns wrote. Whereas the women in The Grapes of Wrath and The Pearl suggest hope even in the bleakest of circumstances, Curley's wife leaves only shattered dreams in her wake.Of Mice and Men tells a tightly compressed story set during the Great Depression. George and Lennie, drifters and friends in a landscape of loners, scrape by with odd jobs while dreaming of the time they'll "live on the fatta the lan'" (p. 101). Lennie has a massive body and limited intelligence, and his unpredictable behavior casts George as his protector. The novel is peopled with outcasts—a black man, a cripple, a lonely woman. The terror of the consequences of infirmity and old age in an unresponsive world is underscored when a laborer's old dog is shot. Is Lennie's similar death at the hands of his protector, with his dream before his eyes, preferable to what the future holds for him? Nearly all the characters share in some version of the dream, recited almost ritualistically, and in their narrow world it is pitifully small: "All kin's a vegetables in the garden, and if we want a little whisky we can sell a few eggs or something, or some milk. We'd jus' live there. We'd belong there" (p. 54).The ending appears to be at odds with Steinbeck's explicit exhortations for social change in the other two novels. In Of Mice and Men, he seems to appeal to a higher form of wisdom in the character of Slim, who does not aspire to anything beyond the sphere he occupies. His "understanding beyond thought" (p. 31) echoes Rose of Sharon's mysterious smile at the end ofThe Grapes of Wrath.From the questions his characters pose about what it means to be fully human, Steinbeck may be understood to charge literature with serving not only as a call to action, but as an expression and acceptance of paradox in our world. "There is something untranslatable about a book," he wrote. "It is itself—one of the very few authentic magics our species has created."ABOUT JOHN STEINBECKJohn Steinbeck's groundbreaking and often controversial work, with its eye on the common people, earned him both high praise and sharp criticism. In addition to his novels, Steinbeck produced newspaper and travel articles, short stories, plays, and film scripts.Born in 1902 in Salinas, California, Steinbeck spent much of his life in surrounding Monterey county, the setting for some of his books. His experience as a young man working menial jobs, including as a farm laborer, ranch hand, and factory worker, was transformed into descriptions of the lives of his working-class characters. After attending Stanford University intermittently for six years, Steinbeck traveled by freighter to New York, where he worked briefly as a journalist before returning to California.His first novel, Cup of Gold, appeared in 1929, but it was Tortilla Flat (1935), his picaresque tale of Monterey's paisanos, that first brought Steinbeck serious recognition. Of Mice and Men (1937) was also well received. The Grapes of Wrath (1939), a book many claim is his masterpiece, was both critically acclaimed and denounced for its strong language and apparent leftist politics. Always shunning publicity, Steinbeck headed for Mexico in 1940, where he made The Forgotten Village, a documentary film about conditions in rural Mexico. He spent the war years as a correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune, for which he later toured the Soviet Union in 1947; he also wrote the novel The Moon Is Down (1942), about Norwegian resistance to the Nazis.Steinbeck's other notable works of fiction include The Pearl (1947), East of Eden (1952), and The Winter of Our Discontent(1961). He also wrote a memoir of a cross-country trip with his poodle, Travels with Charley in Search of America (1962). Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. He died in New York in 1968. His work stands as testament to his commitment to "celebrate man's proven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit."DISCUSSION QUESTIONSWhy does George "take so much trouble for another guy" (p. 21)? Why does George shoot Lennie? Why is the dream recited repeatedly? What does Slim mean when he says, "A guy got to sometimes" (p. 102)? Why does the book begin and end at the pond? Why does Candy feel he should have shot his dog himself? Is Curley's wife to blame for Lennie's death? Why doesn't Slim share in the other men's dreams? Why does Carlson get the last word? What is the meaning of the book's title?FOR FURTHER REFLECTIONDid migrant workers have any options for a better life? Did George do the right thing by shooting Lennie?RELATED TITLESThe Grapes of WrathJohn Dos Passos, Manhattan Transfer (1925)The alienating effects of capitalism, technology, and urbanization are portrayed in this montage of life in New York City.Tomás Rivera,... y no se lo trag— la tierra/... (And the Earth Did Not Devour Him) (1971)A seminal work of Latino literature, these thirteen vignettes embodying the anonymous voice of "the people" depict the exploitation of Mexican American migrant workers.Émile Zola, Germinal (1885)The striking miners in this nineteenth-century tale of class struggle are cast as the victims of both an unjust social system and their own human weaknesses.The PearlErnest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea (1952)Winner of the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, this novella tells the story of an old fisherman's endurance as he pursues, captures, and ultimately loses a great marlin.D. H. Lawrence, "The Rocking-Horse Winner" (in The Woman Who Rode Away and Other Stories) (1928)This fablelike short story follows a boy to his tragic end as he desperately tries to respond to his family's obsession with money.Of Mice and MenFrank Norris, McTeague (1899)In this pioneering naturalistic novel set in California, a man of large physical but small intellectual powers pursues a dream beyond menial tasks, but is corrupted by "civilization."Leo Tolstoy, "Master and Man" (in Master and Man and Other Stories) (1895)The relationship between a greedy landowner and his gentle laborer undergoes a dramatic change in this novella when the two are trapped in a snowstorm

From Our Editors

While the powerlessness of the laboring class in a recurring theme in this classic work, Steinbeck narrows his focus, creating an intimate portrait of two men facing a world marked by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness--a parable about commitment, loneliness, hope, and loss

Editorial Reviews

”Of Mice and Men is a thriller, a gripping tale running to novelette length that you will not set down until it is finished. It is more than that; but it is that. . . . In sure, raucous, vulgar Americanism, Steinbeck has touched the quick in his little story.”—The New York Times“Brutality and tenderness mingle in these strangely moving pages. . . . The reader is fascinated by a certainty of approaching doom.”—Chicago Tribune”A short tale of much power and beauty. Mr. Steinbeck has contributed a small masterpiece to the modern tough-tender school of American fiction.”—Times Literary Supplement [London]