Of Mice and Men

by: John Steinbeck

Point of View

Main ideas Point of View

Of Mice and Men is told from an omniscient third-person point of view, meaning the narrator has full knowledge of all situations and characters. This narrator does not provide access to the characters’ interior thoughts and feelings, but their actions are often described with adverbs: Lennie walks “heavily”; George studies his cards “absorbedly”; Candy squirms “uncomfortably.” This omniscient narrator also describes what things look like, even when there are no characters present. The pond and the bunkhouse are both described as empty spaces before the characters arrive, and Curley’s wife’s corpse is described as “pretty and simple,” even though no one is there to see her. Both the lack of interiority and the descriptions of uninhabited space lend a sense of objectivity to the novella’s point of view. Instead of reality filtered through the consciousness of a particular person, the reader sees reality as it really is, or at least as the narrator describes. This objectivity underscores Steinbeck’s intention to provide accurate descriptions of conditions on working ranches instead of a biased argument about these places.