Of Mice And Men

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade August 2001

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Of Mice and Men "Of Mice and Men" is a book from John Steinbeck about two migrant workers from America. The workers, named George jdvbh and Lennie Small, travel from ranch to ranch across America getting work to fund their dream.

Their dream is to buy their own ranch with " multi-coloured rabbits".

The character which I felt most sympathy for was Lennie. Lennie was a very child-like person in behaviour but a very strong, bulky man in appearance. I guess you could call him a Gentle Giant.

From chapter 1 Steinbeck makes you feel sympathy for Lennie.

Steinbeck does this by contrasting Lennie's physical description with his personality. An example of this is the way he imitates George. " He pulled his hat down a little more over his eyes, the way George's was." Another example is the fact Lennie is very forgetful and has to be told things, by George, over and over again which really annoys George.

This makes George shout at Lennie making you feel sorry for Lennnie. The way Lennie speaks is quite childish which keeps the contrast going. " Aw, leave me have it, George." The pair of George and Lennie seem quite humorous in chapter one because Lennie is the complete opposite of George, in both physical description and in behaviour. Lennie is a big, strong, child-like person whereas George is a small, intelligent man. George and Lennie are friends because after Lennie's Aunt Clara died George looked after him.

Steinbeck held my interest in Lennie by telling me of the trouble Lennie has already been in. For example, in chapter one it hints that the last place they were at they got into trouble, but you have to read on until chapter three when it tells you that Lennie frightened a little girl and they got chased off the land. Another way that Steinbeck held my interest was the constant hints that Lennie was going to get into more trouble.

As the book goes on Lennie, as hinted at by Steinbeck, gets into more and more trouble. The first time Lennie gets into trouble is when he fights the boss' son Curley. Lennie is getting badly beaten up, making us feel sorry for him, so George, also feeling sorry for Lennie, tells him to fight back and Lennie eventually ends up crushing Curley's hand. Again we feel sorry for Lennie Because he didn't mean to crush Curley's hand, he was just doing it out of self-defence.

The climax begins in chapter five when Lennie kills Curley's wife.

Curley's wife let Lennie stroke her hair but when Lennie's force became greater she started screaming Lennie tried to calm her down but ended up breaking her neck. Even though he got himself into trouble and killed things, like the mice and the puppy, none of it was done just to be mean. All was done by fear. The little mouse bit Lennie so he pinched it's head but because Lennie is so strong he crushed it's skull.

The killing of Curley's wife "˜sparks' an outburst on the ranch and everyone hunts Lennie down. George, knowing where Lennie is, gets there first and puts Lennie out of his misery and shoots him. George shoots Lennie because he didn't want any of the workers to kill him and if they didn't then he didn't want to see him suffer in jail. I feel sorry for Lennie because he didn't mean to do any of those things and no-one deserves to die, but I also feel sorry for George for having to kill the only person in his life, at that time, who he loved.

Overall I thought the book was good and very well written. Some of the description was over the top but it only added to my enjoyment.