Summary - of Mice and Men

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Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. New York: Penguin Books, 1965, 107 pages

This is a novel that takes place during the latter stages of prohibition and the depression era. It centers on the pursuit of the American dream. There were many who dreamed of possessing it, but only two men dared to embark on the journey. The two farm workers seemed to be on a lifelong mission to possess the goal of many others, during that era. As, the men navigate through the affairs of life, the pursuit of the American dream takes many twists and turns. It is a lifelong struggle for the characters; as they fall short the prize. The men experience, one pit fall, after another. However, nothing could have prepared them for what destiny seems to have planned for them.

The novel centers on, two men and their purpose of life. George was a small man who cursed a lot, although he was somewhat witty. He seemed to have a sixth sense, about the people he encountered. His life was dedicated to the pursuit of the American dream “he wanted a plot of land to call his own,” and the care of his lifelong friend. Lennie is mentally challenged and simple of speech. He possesses a large frame and has the strength of many men. Lennie was not aware of his strength, due to his disability. He also wanted a piece of the American dream. “He wanted a plot of land to call his own,” so he could raise rabbits.

There were many supporting characters, which help shape the novel and bring a sense of mystery and intrigue. Many of these characters shared the common theme of the novel, which is the pursuit of the American dream. The dream was within the reach of many, but seemed far away. These characters had a goal, but they did not have a plan to accomplish that goal. The boss was mean and his son was even meaner. The boss’ son name was Curley; he had a chip on his shoulder. He did not like Lennie, because he was a big man. Curley was married and his wife had the eye for the ranch workers. She is flirtatious, and her flirting would cause her untimely demise. The supporting characters were: Candy, Slim, Curley, Curley’s wife, Crooks, and Carlson.

George and Lennie have been lifelong friends. George promised Lennie’s, Aunt Clara that he would take care of him. Lennie was the victim of many tricks, as they were growing up. George realized that Lennie was very gullible and decided not to play tricks on him anymore, because Lennie could hurt himself.

The two men are working on a job in Weed. Lennie gets into trouble with a woman. She accuses him of trying to rape her. A lynch mob is formed, George and Lennie flee. The two men wind up in an area south of Soledad, seeking their next place of employment. George and Lennie get off the bus and walk the remainder of the way. It is almost night fall, so they decide to camp out in the brush. Fate would have the two men visit this area, once again. George likes the secluded area and asks Lennie to return there, if he ever got into trouble. George knew that Lennie always manages to get himself into trouble.

They arrive at the ranch with aspirations of making enough money to get a plot of land to call their own. The two men would work, rest and resume work at their discretion, because they would own the land. The dream of owning land is what fueled the men work day after day.

Lennie was left at the ranch alone, and manages get into trouble. George and the other men decided to engage in some activities. Lennie was in the barn sadden over a mistake he just committed. He accidentally kills his pet puppy and he knew that George would be mad. Curley’s flirtatious wife walks into the barn and attempts to seduce Lennie. He rejects her, but her charm is too much for Lennie to handle. He succumbs to her coy behavior. She decides to shut-down her charm. Lennie was overcome with emotion and couldn’t control himself. Curley’s wife starts to scream. Lennie wants to silence her, so he...
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