Monday, June 15, 2009

Of Mice and Men

Book Summary: This novella takes place in California during the Great Depression and focuses on two migrant workers with a dream for a better life- tending their own plot of land, complete with a rabbit farm. George Milton guides his mentally-disabled friend, Lennie, through life; Even when Lennie causes problems, George refuses to abandon him. When the pair find work at a ranch, their dream seems closer than ever, until the ranch-owner's daughter-in-law begins to cause trouble.

Review: This book addresses several controversial topics due to the time period and the type of men depicted in the story. It is an excellent book, but it is extremely sad. It's pretty hard to make someone cry in DisneyWorld, but I was tearing up at several points in the book. Still, an excellent book, but heartwrenching. So grab the tissue box and start reading!

What to Look For/Impress Your Teacher: Look at the description of the dream itself. What's unrealistic about it? Answer: Rainbow rabbits. In literature, if something sounds unrealistic, that generally means it can't happen. Also, the dogs involved in the story are key to Lennie's journey/fate. (The author points the fact that Lennie doesn't have much thinking capacity past that of a young child and often is more George's pet than peer.) Also, look up Robert Burn's poem To A Mouse. Steinbeck took his title from these lines in the second-to-last stanza: "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley." In english, that's "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men/ Go oft awry."

Author Facts: Steinbeck isn't a source of juicy gossip like Ernest Hemingway was, but here are some relevant facts. During World War II, Steinbeck served as a war correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune. He even went on some commando missions! He also won the Pulitzer prize for his novel, The Grapes of Wrath. In 1962, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. For more info on John Steinbeck and his other works, go to Wikipedia.

Next week, meet The Great Gatsby. And while you're waiting, don't forget to read my short story, Just One of the Guys, available now!


  1. Curious, why would this be a novella?


  2. Very interesting post, Iris. Steinbeck is one of my favorites. His stories have so much heart.

    Okay, that's enough crying. Enjoy Disneyland!

    Question: Guess which author spent her honeymoon in Disneyland? :>)


  3. It's a novella because of the shorter length. Has to do with word count and other technicalities... Steinbeck was known for his shorter works...

    I don't know about Disneyland Mary, but my parents got engaged in Disneyworld!