Published in 1937, Of Mice and Men is a classic novella written by Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck. Set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, the story follows two displaced migrant ranch workers, George Milton and Lennie Small, as they navigate the harsh realities of life in California. George, small and wiry, is the caretaker of the mentally challenged Lennie, who possesses immense physical strength but struggles to understand the complexities of the world.
The novella explores themes of friendship, freedom, and the pursuit of the American Dream. George and Lennie’s dream of owning a piece of land together, a place of refuge from the challenges they face, serves as a moving symbol of hope in the face of adversity. Steinbeck’s narrative captures the struggles of itinerant workers during a challenging economic period and sheds light on the broader issues of social injustice and inequality. The characters’ dreams and aspirations resonate with readers, emphasizing the human desire for connection and a better life.
Of Mice and Men has been adapted into multiple stage productions and films, including a well-known 1992 film version directed by Gary Sinise.