Of Mice and Men

by

John STEINBECK

72 pages

Published in 1937

Read for

MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK

I would like first to thank Rebecca for inviting me on this Tour! Between Aug 15-26, Rebecca invited over 30 book bloggers to post on a book by Steinbeck. Click on the above picture to access the list of each review. The Steinbeck Classics Circuit has 4 more days to go, so be sure to go and visit the page every day to see what the next bloggers will have to say; and keep an eye on this great website, where Rebecca regularly organizes classics tours.

This was the opportunity to read this great classic I had not read yet. I enjoy very much Steinbeck’s writing, his East of Eden is one of my favorites.

Usually, I don’t appreciate novellas as much as novels, but I found this one excellent. Steinbeck has such a power of evocation, great description of nature and characters. His use of spoken language and of many dialogues enhances the liveliness of the whole work.

This is a tough story, fit though for describing tragic events all too common during the Great Depression.
The tragedy is conveyed as much in the events of the story, murders for instance -I will not go into too many details not to include spoilers just in case you have not read it yet- as in the mind of the 2 heroes, George and Lennie, two migrant field workers, with their unattainable dreams of a better life. The beauty of the descriptions of the life they dream of makes it even worse, as the reader knows instinctively that these dreams will never come true.

Apart from the main themes of powerlessness and loneliness, due to social or character contexts, there are many overlapping themes present, for instance innocence – but innocence up to what level?, mutual understanding, and compassion. These 2 last themes are portrayed by the character of Slim, the only one to really understand George and Lennie, and to show a final gesture of compassion and tenderness towards George.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT

The tragic story of the complex bond between two migrant laborers in Central California. They are George Milton and Lennie Small, itinerant ranch hands who dream of one day owning a small farm. George acts as a father figure to Lennie, who is a very large, simple-minded man, calming him and helping to reign in his immense physical strength. [Goodreads]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Steinbeck III was an American writer. He wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath, published in 1939 and the novella Of Mice and Men, published in 1937. In all, he wrote twenty-five books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books and several collections of short stories.

In 1962 Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Steinbeck grew up in the Salinas Valley region of California, a culturally diverse place of rich migratory and immigrant history. This upbringing imparted a regionalistic flavor to his writing, giving many of his works a distinct sense of place.

Steinbeck moved briefly to New York City, but soon returned home to California to begin his career as a writer. Most of his earlier work dealt with subjects familiar to him from his formative years. An exception was his first novel Cup of Gold which concerns the pirate Henry Morgan, whose adventures had captured Steinbeck’s imagination as a child.

In his subsequent novels, Steinbeck found a more authentic voice by drawing upon direct memories of his life in California. Later he used real historical conditions and events in the first half of 20th century America, which he had experienced first-hand as a reporter.

Steinbeck often populated his stories with struggling characters; his works examined the lives of the working class and migrant workers during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. His later body of work reflected his wide range of interests, including marine biology, politics, religion, history, and mythology.

One of his last published works was Travels with Charley, a travelogue of a road trip he took in 1960 to rediscover America. He died in 1968 in New York of a heart attack and his ashes are interred in Salinas.

Seventeen of his works, including The Grapes of Wrath (1940), Cannery Row (1945), The Pearl (1947), and East of Eden (1952), went on to become Hollywood films, and Steinbeck also achieved success as a Hollywood writer, receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Story in 1944 for Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat. [Goodreads]

REVIEWS BY OTHERS

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