"Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck.

Essay by maccafunk October 2003

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Critical Evaluation - Of Mice and Men

"Of Mice and Men" is one of John Steinbeck's most famous novels. The novel portrays lonely people chasing after broken dreams. Steinbeck highlights the tragic position in which most of the characters exist. It is set in the 1930's at the time of the "Great Depression".

The novel concentrates on the characters loneliness and their broken dreams. The title, "Of Mice and Men" is adapted from the poem, "To a Mouse" by the great Robert Burns. The complete line of the poem is:

"The best laid plans O' mice and men gang aft agley."

In other words, if you plan something things could still go wrong. Steinbeck chose that title because it suits the theme of the novel as the characters plan to live out their dream but are destined to fail.

The main characters are: Lennie, George, Candy, Crooks, and Curley's wife.

All of the characters have dreams and are lonely but lonely in very different ways.

Lennie is described as a bear in the book.

"Lennie dabbed his big paw in the water"

This represents a bear hunting for it's fish. Lennie travels with another man named George, however he is still lonely. Inside he is a little boy but on the outside he looks like a man but acts like the little boy. In the novel George wishes for a pet so he could talk to it about things that he does not want to tell George. Lennie's dream is to have a house, land and most of all he would like to look after rabbits.

"The rabbits we're gonna get, and I get to

tend 'em, cut grass an' give 'em water, an'

like that."

This shows the little boy inside Lennie and how immature...