Of Mice and Men

By John Steinbeck

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Of Mice and Men is a novel a novel about two nomadic ranch hands, George and Lennie. George is the strong minded, smart one that picked up Lennie after his Aunt Clara died. Lennie is mentally retarded but a very strong worker. Lennie’s simple mind often gets the pair in trouble and they have to move to another ranch. George says that he and Lennie are different from the rest of the ranch hands because they’ve got each other whereas the rest of the men only have themselves. George entertains Lennie and keeps himself hopeful with the dream that someday they could own their own ranch. In this thrilling novel, George and Lennie go through the hardships of being a strange pair and they deal with Lennie’s handicaps as best they can. By the end of the novel, Lennie gets into some trouble and George is forced to make a very hard decision that will change his life forever.

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:::::Meet the Stars:::::
· George Milton: George is small but strong and very intelligent and a quick thinker. He is Lennie’s caretaker and a very strong worker. He is a doer, not a dreamer and thrives on physical work. He knows how to take care of Lennie and how to discipline him so that he learns from his mistakes.
· Lennie Small: Lennie is a large, broad man and he is mentally retarded. He enjoys petting soft things such as velvet, mice, puppies, ect. His antics also end up getting him and George into trouble.
· Curley: Curley is the Boss’s son and acts like he is the one that owns the place. He wears high-heeled boots to show the ranch hands that he has more power than them. He can be found picking fights with larger men in order to show his “strength.” Curley is very distrustful of his new wife and spends his time making accusations at the ranch hands concerning his wife.
· Crooks: Crooks is the black stable-hand who happens to have a crooked back from when horse kicked him. He is a bitter older man who has his own room because the other men don’t want a black man in their bunkhouse. Although the men want him to have his own room, they are respectful of him. He becomes fond of Lennie and even joins in on he and George’s dream for a little bit.
· Curley’s Wife: She is the cause of all the major problems. John Steinbeck did not give her a name because she lives under Curley’s shadow. The men on the ranch call her a “tart” and a “tramp” and say that she’s up to no good. She is overly flirtatious and very obvious about her intentions even if she doesn’t come right out and say it. She is lonely and desperate for a better life.
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:::::In Abby’s Opinion:::::

Although the novel was rather boring in some parts I think that the essential message is great for a novel and the characters are very well written.
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:::::Essential Questions:::::
1. What is meant by the American Dream? The American Dream is essential what is written in the Declaration of Independence, “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” All men are equal and have the same rights. Everyone has the right to prosperity and happiness.
2. Is the American Dream still a viable element today? The American Dream is still viable today, although it is a little harder to attain the full Dream.
3. Is the American Dream a destructive or empowering force, or a combination of both? I believe that the American Dream is both a destructive and empowering force. It is empowering because it gives people hope and something to try for so that they can become better people. It is destructive because once you reach the American Dream you can’t help but wanting more.
4. What constitutes a genuine friendship? A genuine friendship is made of loyalty, trust, and getting through hard times with someone.
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:::::What YOU Can Learn:::::

After reading this novel, one has a better understanding of what real friendship is made of. Also, the reader learns more about what life was like on a ranch in the 1930’s.