After the whole mice debacle, I decided it would be appropriate to finally read this acclaimed novella with mice in the title. Honestly, it is bizarre to me that after two years of advanced high school english and three years of honors english classes in college, I never read this book. It is both replete with symbolism and short, an english teacher’s dream. Nevertheless, I was obliged to read this treasure on my own.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is a powerful and touching tale of friendship set during the Great Depression. Lennie and George are laborers who travel from farm to farm to find work; George cares for Lennie, who has a mental disability, like a brother.
The story pivots around the dream of these men – that one day, they’ll be able to have a farm of their own, living off the “fatta the land”; Lennie would have his very own rabbits to care for. However, this dream is really just that – a dream. These men, symbols of the entire underclass during the time period, are dispossessed, imprisoned by their own lives.
Lennie, a large, childlike man who does not know his own power, has a fatal flaw – he loves soft things. George’s patience is tried again and again, because he knows that Lennie’s disability is dangerous and cannot truly be controlled, but he still is loyal friend to Lennie in spite of it all. The final climatic scene is the ultimate sign of love and sacrifice – a shock, but one that sits really deep with you, and stays a while after reading.
Though this book is not long, it is a story that lives on even after you finish reading it. I found myself returning to the characters again and again after I finished, wondering about certain pieces of dialogue or actions. I highly recommend you read this book if you haven’t yet – it shouldn’t take long.
“A guy needs somebody―to be near him. A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you. I tell ya, I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick.”
Update on the DeRocher mice situation (if you want the full story, click here): After catching those first two mice, we haven’t seen or heard a peep since. We hope this means the problem has been solved!