Sunday, October 18, 2015

Of Mice and Men

Overview

While the powerlessness of the laboring class is a recurring theme in Steinbeck's work of the late 1930s, he narrowed his focus when composing Of Mice and Men (1937), creating an intimate portrait of two men facing a world marked by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness. But though the scope is narrow, the theme is universal; a friendship and a shared dream that makes an individual's existence meaningful.


I am really not sure what took me so long to read this book. I have many favorite authors (like James Patterson, Jodi Picoult, John Grisham) but my favorite book of all time is The Grapes of Wrath!! And it was written by John Steinbeck. But, never, did I once seek to read any of his other books like I always have with my favorite authors. I plan to remedy that in the future.

Of Mice and Men is a really short read. Not a lengthy novel by any means. But a story of two men who travel together, finding whatever type of work they could. This was the way of the world during the 1930's when work was hard to find.  They had left their last place of employment because of something Lennie, a giant of a man, had done. This seemed to be a recurring problem with him.   Lennie, is what they used to call "mentally retarded". Steinbeck makes you get to know him well. I often felt I was squatted there next to them as they talked. The characters in this book are so well developed that you can almost see them in your mind! I love that about his writing. The ending is very sad but so understandable from George's point of view. I am sure many of you have read this book at some point in your life. It was a first read for me. And I will give it 4 stars. A must read ****!
 


22 comments:

  1. I, too, loved Lennie and George's story! Actually, a skit/reenactment of 'the' moment (by my best friend's debate club), was what triggered my interest in reading this book.

    (No, I've not read Grapes of Wrath. ...yet.)

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    1. You must read it Myra! It's my favorite of all time

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  2. I read this book back in the 7th grade and our drama class did the play that year also. It still haunts me at times.

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    1. My grands have read it too. We didn't have this one to read in my school. I don't remember what book I read in the 7th grade. I can see why it haunts you!

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  3. Such a classic story; remember reading it in high school and being very impacted by it!

    betty

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    1. This was not one of our required readings. At least I didn't read it!

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  4. I have never read Grapes of Wrath but I think I might just fix that omission. I did read Of Mice and Men in high school. But at my age that was a long time ago and I don't remember much except that it made me terribly sad. But your description makes me courious to read it again, now with more adult and appreciative eyes. These are classics and have stood the test of time .... For good reason. Thanks for reminding me to check out the literature that so good that it continues to float above the masses of written words that are continually created.

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    1. I don't remember many of the books I read back in high school either. But if I start to read one then I know I have read it. You should read it again. A very quick read!

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  5. Let me see, nine children, a full time nursing career, raising grandchildren, caretaking for Richard, I know why you didn't hve time to read. You've been very busy with life! But hey, good read! My favorite Steinbeck is Cannery Row. Just loved it! And I am hoarding the sequel to it, Sweet Thursday, to read on a cold winter night. I love how you felt like you were right there in the story. Good writing, eh? Oh . . . and sorry the Vikings beat the Chiefs, but it was an awesome game to watch,

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    1. All of that didn't really slow down my reading. I always took a book to work with me to read on my break. And I always have read at night before I go to sleep. I was just into a different type of book back then. I'm not a football fan. Richard was! He would have been complaining about the Chief's coaching staff. LOL

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  6. Oh wait!!!, That was nine grandchildren not children. See? I read it, but I forgot which generation. Shucks! You were still busy with life anyway.

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    1. LOL! Thank goodness it wasn't 9 children!!

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  7. Great books! I had to read both of them Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and men when I was in high school. I really enjoyed both even though they are depressing. True classics!

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  8. Another book on my 'to read' list. It was featured in an episode of "Longmire" recently. I should move it closer to the top.

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    1. I moved it closer to the top because it had fewer pages and I was ready for a quick read

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  9. Just a few months ago, I was covering an 11th grade special ed English class, and they were finishing up the book. I was to read the last chapter to them. And as I was reading, I couldn't stop crying. I was the only one in the room crying. That was an interesting experience.

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    1. That is interesting. Probably because they didn't really understand what was going on! Maybe?

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  10. Hi Paula - I guess we grow into reading books like this - having been put off them for whatever reason earlier. I'd better get it out of the library ... cheers Hilary

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