Saturday, October 22, 2011

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and MenGenre: Adult or Young Adult Realistic Fiction
Source: Purchased from Bookstore
Series: No, StandAlone
Buy It: The Book Depository The Dolphin Bookshop
Challenge: No
The tragic story of the complex bond between two migrant laborers in Central California. They are George Milton and Lennie Small, itinerant ranch hands who dream of one day owning a small farm. George acts as a father figure to Lennie, who is a very large, simple-minded man, calming him and helping to reign in his immense physical strength. 
     A few years ago, I read the Pearl by John Steinbeck and I hated it.  When I was assigned to read and analyze Of Mice and Men, I thought I would be in for hours of torture trying to get through another book by the same author.  Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised by this book.  There were a few things that I didn't really like about the book along with things that I loved about this book.  Of Mice and Men is only about 100 pages so it only took me one night to get through while taking notes for class.  
     Honestly, I don't think that any summary of this book really does this book justice.  When I first read the summary, I was dreading the book.  I always hate books about workers on a ranch, especially when set in difficult times, those books just aren't for me.  I'll quickly give you a synopsis in my own words:  George and Lennie have traveled along from ranch to ranch for quite some time.  They always stick together.  Lennie is mentally disabled and George, who has no relation to Lennie, is the uptight man who takes care of him.     That is how I would describe Of Mice and Men even though there is much more to this short story.
     I absolutely loved the characters in this story, Lennie most of all.  Lennie is a very large and strong disabled man.  He loves soft and innocent things and is completely unaware of his own strength.  He makes many mistakes that he cannot help and every time George reprimands him, he simply takes it and moves on.  He is not a grudge holder and I love his innocence.  He doesn't know right from wrong.  He simply acts as a child would but, I loved everything about Lennie.  He had no knowledge but, I think he was one of the best friends I've ever read about.  Regardless of his short temper and uptight personality, I felt sympathetic for George.  It isn't easy having to take care of someone who keeps making the same mistakes over and over.  Lennie and George were a great pair and I really enjoyed their friendship.

     The storyline of the book was paced very well throughout the majority of the book but, once I came within 20 pages of the end of the book, I absolutely hated the pacing.  Steinbeck rushed through the shocking ending to the point where you might not have understood what was happening.  Speaking of the ending, I absolutely hated it.  Not because it was poorly written but, because I felt for the characters in the end and I really didn't want "that" to happen (sorry, no spoilers! :) ).  
     I really loved reading of Mice and Men.  Everything in the book was significant and I could go on for hours analyzing this book that was only 100 pages in length but, unfortunately I don't have all the time in the world and I'm sure that you don't either but, don't worry, you'll speed right through this amazing book!

Final Grade:


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