John Steinbeck’s famous classic, Of Mice and Men, is an incredible novel set within the era of the Great Depression in California, United States. It follows the story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two migrant ranch workers travelling from place to place to earn their living, burdened by the childlike nature of Lennie, who inadvertently creates trouble wherever they go.
John Steinbeck is a well-known author of the early 1900’s, with many of his works becoming widely read classics, that continue to be celebrated in this day and age. His novel, Of Mice and Men, is a touching story that focuses on life within the Great Depression, with insight into the further inequalities of racism, the role of women and the understanding and treatment of the mentally disabled that are highly relevant to the context of the novel. Through a range of characters Steinbeck creates a confronting statement on the nature of society and its structure during the era of the Great Depression, elaborately intertwining the numerous aspects of civilization within the confined boundaries of a ranch. His focus on the difficulties surrounding the financial wellbeing of many working-class people within the era becomes a trigger for sentiment within the audience as the themes of friendship, struggle and hope create sympathy and an emotional attachment towards the characters of the novel.
I found myself emotionally spent after reading Steinbeck’s sensational story through his detailed establishment of the protagonists, George and Lennie, and the interactions between the two. The patient and quick-witted George leads the audience to feel immediately attached to his caring and protective nature towards Lennie, and the hope that he creates for them through his dreams of creating a better life in a time where money is sparse. Lennie himself, who whilst mentally disabled yet physically strong, is an intriguing character that I felt to be unique and enthralling. His light hearted nature makes the audience immediately attuned to his presence, feeling both attached and concerned over his wellbeing and actions. Steinbeck creates a highly heart wrenching novel through his build-up of the realities of life with the Great Depression, exposing the nature of views and the position of people within the constructs of society, outlining the common presence of hope residing in the minds of many however becoming nothing more than a dream to most.
I highly recommend John Steinbeck’s classic, Of Mice and Men, to readers of any age. This touching novel will having you turning page after page and will leave you in tears.