Of Mice and Men is a book that actually won John Steinbeck, the author, a Nobel Prize in literature. I don’t know how much more prestigious your writing can get. You may have heard of Steinbeck’s other works like The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden. To search for any of his great works, use textbooks.org.

Wait - wrong Of Mice and Men. (photo by nexusamor)

Wait – wrong Of Mice and Men. (photo by nexusamor)

In any case, when I was twelve years old, my best friend stumbled across this in our shabby middle school library. He recommended it to me right after, and I gladly took his advice. I had never heard him recommend a book before, so I knew it was bound to be interesting. Point blank: the end made me cry. The book was fairly short and to the point.

In essence, the book follows two characters: George, who is small and has distinct features, and Lennie, who is large and has a mental disability. In many ways, George is his caretaker. As the story progresses, they are traveling to find work. George notices that Lennie has a dead mouse in hand, and Lennie promises that he didn’t mean to kill it – he simply wanted to pet it.

This will be a theme in the story, as Lennie unintentionally “breaks” the creatures that he finds or is given. George complains that his life would be so much better without Lennie. In fact, the reason they’re travelling is because Lennie wanted to touch a girl’s dress, and the townspeople took it as assault, thus they were exiled from that town.

After George loses his temper with Lennie, he tells him of their dream story. What’s in it for Lennie is the ability to keep and take care of rabbits.

At the place where they will find work, the boss’ son, Curley, threatens to fight them. It is presumed that this is because he is a little guy. His wife later comes in and begins to flirt with both Lennie and George, but also the mule driver. Lennie says how “purty” the woman is, so George tells him to stay away from the “bitch.”

Lennie is given a puppy to take care of, but gets yelled at for taking it from it’s mother. He goes to return it, and the men in the room discuss how Candy’s dog stinks and is no good – and how the dog should be shot. Candy reluctantly agrees to put the creature out of its misery, and after awkward moments of silence, a gun shot was heard.

With pent up anger and jealousy from not knowing where his wife was, Curley begins to beat up on Lennie, who breaks his hand on George’s command. George ensures him the fight was not his fault and he has nothing to fear; and ensures Lennie that he will be able to take care of rabbits.