Of Mice and Men by John SteinbeckOf Mice and Men was published in 1937 during the Great Depression. Thus, George and Lennie face economic hardships during their travels.Genre: Fiction and tragedyJohn Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California. His birthplace became the setting for many of his works including Of Mice and Men. Salinas is a rural city with farms and ranches amassing the city.The PoV in Of Mice and Men is third-person omniscient and objective.The protagonist Of Mice and Men is George Milton. George is a short-tempered friend to Lennie who—at first—sees his protection as a burden but progressively becomes a loving companion. George is very curt with Lennie. This is seen in his imperative statements. George is short, has strong hands, thin arms, and a dark face. George protects Lennie. However, all his efforts were in vein due to the fact that in the end, *spoilers* George shoots Lennie.The antagonist in Of Mice and Men is the boss’ son Curley. He is thin, soft-handed, brown face and eyes, and is an amateur boxer. He likes to assert his authority by challenging men on the ranch—specifically people who are larger than him. Static characters are Lennie, Crooks, Curley, and Slim. A dynamic character would be George. Lennie is also a foil to George.The main conflict in Of Mice and Men is the struggle for survival. George spends his time watching over Lennie because Lennie is mentally unable to survive by himself. They have dreams of owning their own farm with animals but that dream is cut short when George realizes he does not share that dream with Lennie anymore. The climax of Of Mice and Men is when Lennie and Curley’s wife are in the barn and she is flirting with her then Lennie accidentally kills her.The falling action in Of Mice and Men is when Candy finds Curley’s wife in the barn and tells George. Candy spends the word and all the men gather around the barn. George tells the men that Lennie meant no harm and that he will find Lennie.The resolution in Of Mice and Men is when George finds Lennie and then distract him by talking about their dream and then shoots Lennie in the back of the head with Carlson’s gun.Themes in Of Mice and Men are friendship, innocence, justice, weakness, and the American dream. A memorable moment in the story would be when Curley was challenging Lennie and genie was backing away because he was scared. Suddenly, George told Lennie to fight back and Lennie then crumbled Curley’s wrist. It was also a memorable moment when Lennie was able to have one of the little puppies. But then he killed it:(. “God a’mighty, if I was alone I could live so easy. I could go get a job an’ work, an’ no trouble. No mess at all, and when the end of the month come I could take my fifty bucks and go into town and get whatever I want.” George is expressing how better his life would be without Lennie. “Ain’t many guys travel around together,” Slim is commenting on how impressed he is that George and Lennie are traveling companions.John Steinbeck found inspiration for Of Mice and Men from the poem To a Mouse on turning her up in her nest with the plow written by Robert Burns. In the poem, the speaker accidentally uproots a mouse’s nest with his plow. Originally, the speaker believed mice and men were different but after pausing for a moment, he realizes that they are both mortal. The difference is that men are aware of themselves and their actions whereas mice are not. Mice cannot think of the past or dream about the future whereas man can. Steinbeck designed his book so that George is the man and Lennie is the mouse. Lennie does not remember any of his actions. He does not have any regret and he doesn’t even fear death. On the contrary, George has to live with his actions for the rest of his life. Parallels to other works would be The Scarlet Ibis and It was interesting how the shooting of Candy’s dog and the shooting of Lennie were similar. Candy and his dog were attached just as George and Lennie were companions. One difference is that Candy let someone else kill his dog whereas George personally killed Lennie. Lennie was also killed in the same place where the story started.
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