The novel that I studied for English was called Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. The classic novel is set during the Great Depression near Soledad, California in America. It follows the two protagonists on their futile search for the American dream and the hardships they face trying to get there. The novel is beautifully written, it is filled with emotion, great descriptions and has a wonderful plot.
At the beginning of the novel, we encounter the two protagonists of the book, George and Lennie. We meet them by the side of a river as they travel to a ranch for work. George is described as a small, dark man with “sharp, strong features.” Lennie, his companion, is his opposite, a giant of a man with a “shapeless” face. As they converse, it becomes clear that George is the brains of the pair and Lennie is the brawn. We know this as from their conversing, we can tell that Lennie is very simple minded and it seems that he has a mental disability. We can also see that the pair have a fraternal friendship as they are both devoted to one another, with George keeping Lennie out of trouble and Lennie protecting George.In this scene, we were are also introduced to the theme of the American Dream, as George tells Lennie a story about what life will be like in this idyllic place they will live after they have earned enough money.
There is also a lot of emotion in the plot of this story, from comedic moments to heartbreaking twists. Which all and all hooks the reader from beginning to end. The main emotion, tension begins building from the moment Curley and his wife are introduced into the story. Curly is a cruel man, who thinks he is superior to the rest of the men and his wife is a flirtatious young women. Through the many minor quarrels and encounters the protagonists face with the pair, the tension is built . Until, finally the climax takes place, when Lennie pets the hair of Curley’s wife. She begins screaming, resulting in a struggle, Lennie kills her accidentally and then runs away. The farmhands then decie to form a mob to punish Lennie, but George finds him first. George understands that Lennie cannot live in the world, and he wants to save him the pain and terror of being killed slowly, so he shoots him in the back of the head. This was the ultimate ending to a great book, as a character who we had grown to love was ripped away from us.
Of Mice and Men has such literary power and this rests firmly on the relationship between the two protagonists, their friendship and their shared dream. These two men are so very different, but they come together, stay together, and support each other in a world full of people who are bereft and alone. Their brotherhood and fellowship is an achievement of enormous humanity. They sincerely believe in this American dream. Their desires are both very particular to the 1930’s but also universal.
As you can see, Steinbeck’s writing derives much emotion and captivation of its audience and it truly deserves all the accolades it has received. Of Mice Of Men is a marvellous book and I offer it high recommendations.