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Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck

Key Questions and Answers

Summary Key Questions and Answers

Why did Steinbeck choose the title Of Mice and Men?

Steinbeck chose the title Of Mice and Men after reading a poem called “To a Mouse” by Robert Burns, in which the poet regrets accidentally destroying a mouse’s nest. The poem resonates with several of Of Mice and Men’s central themes: the impermanence of home and the harshness of life for the most vulnerable. The struggles of the mouse whose home is destroyed parallels with the struggles of George, Lennie, and other migrant workers whose dreams of purchasing land are destroyed by the trials of the Great Depression. Their own fate is not so different from the poem’s mouse, or the dead mouse Lennie pulls from his pocket—the characters are destined for destruction beyond their control.