Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck’s classic novel Of Mice and Men, written in 1937 is typical of his style, writing about labourers and ordinary people struggling for their livelihood. Of Mice and Men is the story of two itinerant farm labourers, an unlikely pair, who form a strong aliegance and share a desire for a small farm of their own. The story is set in the middle of the depression era of the 1930’s – a time that deprived many men of their dignity. The book is set on a farm, in the dust-bowl of the Salinas Valley and the characters of the farm successfully represents a microcosm of the world.  There are characters representing just about every human type. This is a complex story of survival and identity. George and Lennie are bound together by a unique friendship and share a utopian dream “We’ll have a little place, with a cow, a pig, chickens an’ a piece of alfalfa for the rabbits. It’s here that we’ll live on the fatta the lan‘”.  The simple-minded, child-like giant, Lennie constantly relies on his friend, mentor and protector George. However it ends tragically when Lennie cannot be saved from his own worst enemy – his own strength. George patiently repeats the description of their dream plans, the house, the animals, the garden and the idyllic lifestyle they hope to achieve. It is this that helps them to endure, right through to the very end.