full title · Of Mice and Men
author · John Steinbeck
type of work · Novella
genre · Fiction; tragedy
language · English
time and place written · Mid-1930s; Pacific Grove and Los Gatos ranch, California
date of first publication · 1937
publisher · Covici, Friede, Inc.
narrator · Third-person omniscient
protagonists · George and Lennie
antagonists · Curley; society; the cruel, predatory nature of human life
setting (time) · 1930s
setting (place) · South of Soledad, California
point of view · The story is told from the point of view of a third-person omniscient narrator, who can access the point of view of any character as required by the narrative.
falling action · Lennie runs away from the barn; the men return and find Curley’s wife dead; Curley leads a mob of men to search for and kill Lennie; George finds Lennie in the clearing and, while retelling the story of life on their farm, shoots him in the back of the head.
tense · Past
foreshadowing · Lennie petting the dead mouse, Lennie being run out of Weed for the incident involving the girl in the red dress, and Lennie killing his puppy—all of which anticipate Lennie accidentally killing Curley’s wife; the death of Candy’s dog, which anticipates the death of Lennie; Candy’s regret that he didn’t kill his old dog himself, which anticipates George’s decision to shoot Lennie
tone · Sentimental, tragic, doomed, fatalistic, rustic, moralistic, comic
themes · The predatory nature of human existence; the importance of fraternity and idealized relationships between men; the impossibility of the American Dream; the destructive imbalance of social power structures in American society
motifs · The corrupting power of female sexuality; strength and weakness; loneliness and companionship
symbols · The clearing in the woods; Lennie and George’s farm; mice; Candy’s dog; the heron that plucks water snakes from the stream; Curley’s boots; Lennie’s puppy
We read the novel for my 9th grade English class, and I'm supposed to be writing and essay about it right now, but oh well. It was an amazing book, though many of my classmates disliked it. The characters were impressive and I really liked old Candy. It was good for historical reference and offered a look at the depression.
The shot book got me attached to the characters, and I almost cried at the end, but I was in class.
Overall I'd give it an 9 out of 10
92 out of 130 people found this helpful
Of Mice and Men is a fantastic novel that shows how hard it was in the times of the Great Depression. The difference between Lennie and George compared to the migrant workers is that they had each other. In the novel, it shows how George takes care of Lennie who has a mental disability. Most of the migrant workers wanted to achieve the success of the American Dream that was different for every American. Lennie and George too wanted to the euphoria of achieving their American Dream. Lennie and George’s dream was to own a ranch and live off ... Read more→
211 out of 258 people found this helpful
I read the book and really enjoyed it, but now I have to write the essay. I have to write about a minor character that is very important to the story, the only problem is, I can't see to figure out which characters would be considered 'minor.' I was thinking about using Slim, but please let me know if you can think of a better suggestion! Thanks
3 out of 10 people found this helpful