Of Mice and Men by John Steinback

of mice and men cover art*Spoiler alert

George and Lennie are best friends, with George, the smaller of the two, portrayed  the smart one, and Lennie, the towering giant, kind, but not bright. The two are on their way to search for a job at the Ranch. That is the time of the Great Depression, an economic breakdown. Many people lose their jobs at the Great Depression. The two stop to drink at a River, and they start to talk about their dreams: George and his dream of having a ranch, and Lennie and his dream of having pet rabbits.

When they arrive at the ranch, George does most of the speaking to the boss; with Lennie, interrupting here and there, and getting a glare from George. In the end, they get hired. They meet Slim, who is intelligent and kind. Slim’s female dog just has a litter of puppies, and to Lennie’s joy, Slim gives him a brown and white one. George then realizes, that Lennie loves to stroke soft and fluffy things, which explains the reason why Lennie keeps mice in his pocket (dead ones. He crushed them.), wants a rabbit, loves the puppy, and the reason why they are fired from their last job.

I have a feeling that Lennie is mentally ill, and that is true. Lennie never wants to harm people. Like for example. when he stroked a woman’s dress, which caused them to be fired; actually, he really likes the softness of the dress.  I predict that the end of the story would be ugly, with Lennie out of control.

George is always Lennie’s protector, and in other words, is his best friend. He protects Lennie from alot of things, including Curly, the bosses’s son, who really hates big men, making Lennie a very soft spot. George warns Lennie over and over again the puppy was just born, and could easily die, in which Lennie tries to listen, but keeps on failing over and over. George does not want Lennie to be sad when the puppy dies.

Like many of John Steinback’s books, this one talks about poverty and tragedy. It really shows how hard it was to live back then. With Lennie and George, with the help of Candy, who wants to join their ranch, a few months of the earnings to save up ‘almost’ enough money to buy themselves, a ranch, that is when trouble started to brew. Curly decides it is a right time to attack Lennie, and he does, George urging Lennie to attack him back, resulting in a crushed fist to Curly.

But at that time, George is too happy at their dream almost coming true. He leaves Lennie alone in the ranch as he goes out to escort Curly to the doctor. Then the storm hit. Lennie gets in deep trouble, shattering their dream into deep pieces.

George killed Lennie out of love, not for the usual motives of hatred, rage, anger, etc. George did not want Lennie to suffer, by getting killed or hanged. George killed Lennie when he was looking off into the sunset, with Lennie’s mind thinking about their dreams, and his death, quick and peaceful. I think George did the right thing to kill Lennie who was in a happy state. It was a mercy killing, the act of painlessly allowing to die, to avoid extreme measures of pain and suffering.

John Steinback was an author of many novels. This is the third book, of his novels I have read so far.


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