Of Mice And Men

This essay has a total of 1585 words and 10 pages.

Of Mice And Men


Of Mice and Men, was a disturbing tale of friendship, and animosity and immoral

nature of the human race. Along the Salinas River and underneath the Gablian

Mountains of California during the Great Depression of the 1930's this novel takes place.

A famous writer by the name of John Steinbeck, who was also born in California, is the

author of this book. He has also has written many other good books such as The Grapes

of Wrath, Cannery Row, and Winter of Our Discontent for which he won a Nobel Prize.

He is truly a great writer, and Of Mice and Men is no exception, but while reading this

book I was greatly troubled by its ending. I can see why it is an excellent novel, but at

the same time it left me with a kind of unpleasant feeling in the back of my mind. I can't

see how an author could write a book with such a short and sudden ending. The last

images he leaves the reader with is George and Slim walking off as Curly says " Now

what in the hell is eating them?" thus the book ends on a harsh, cruel note, topped off by

the lack of understanding and compassion of an extraordinarily immoral and cruel man.

Whatever Steinbeck's intent for writing such a jarring ending, he leaves the reader with a

powerful sense of the world's immorality.


In this book there were several characters, but only a few had significant roles. I

would have to say Lennie is the protagonist of the book even though George is an

extremely critical character as well. Lennie Small is described as being a monstrous man

with the mind of a child, a shapeless face, big pale eyes, sloping shoulders, and big feet

that dragged a bit when he walked, much like a bear. George has taken Lennie under his

wing and thus Lennie depends solely on George for everything. Ever since Lennie has

been with George, he has told Lennie stories of a great place, with a cabin all to their

selves, and rabbits for Lennie to care for. This leads me to his next obsession for feeling

and caressing soft things such as fur, velvet, or human hair. This is eventually his

downfall as when he kills Curley's wife when he wants to feel her hair. Lennie is not an

evil or devious man. He's just a little senseless. Lennie's good will and purity of

intention is never in question during this book, but his memory operates poorly, and he is

able to only remember such details as particular words and phrases as if only George tells

him. Lennie is a good person it's just his difficulty to think about his actions that

eventually costs him his life.

George is the other main character in Of Mice and Men. He's just an ordinary man,

who is obligated to take care of Lennie, and does a fair job of it. His relationship with

Lennie is admittedly a close one, but it is more fatherly than anything else and certainly

has no time for the intellectual give and take that is needed to look after Lennie. The

author defines George's features as restless, with strong small hands, thin arms, and a

bony nose. From reading this you can tell George has an incredible work ethic as he has

to put up with Lennie and still continuously find work for both of them. As you read this

book you see that George is gradually starting to accept Lennie, but then that all ends

when George is faced with the choice of letting Lennie be killed by Curley or just doing

it himself. Either way George is faced with a morally impossible task. As you know he

ends up shooting Lennie himself in a tragic ending.

Slim is not so much a main character, but is a critical piece to the book. He best

described as the Prince of the ranch, a skilled workman, and a great friend to all in the

bunkhouse. Curley is infuriated at the fact that everyone looks up to Slim instead of

cowering at the power of himself. In times of Crisis Slim quietly and gracefully helps to

solve whatever problem has arisen. This is why he was loved and endeared by all who

knew him.

Curley is an arrogant stuck up man with a hatred for big men, such as Lennie. He

could be classified as the villain of the book, as he is constantly making life miserable for

Lennie and George. He is exactly like his father, who is the boss of the ranch, which

makes clear the family pattern of bullies. Obviously Curley is insecure about himself

since he is constantly looking to boss people around throughout the course of this novel.

Curley's wife comes across as overly flirty with the workers of the ranch. This is in

turn what probably gets her killed when she allows Lennie to feel her hair, which then
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