Saturday, April 01, 2006

Book review: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men is a simple tale of two men, one Lennie is a huge fellow, a giant with a brain of a child, a simpleton who likes to pat mice and pups and by sheer force in his hands, kills the very thing he loves. Another is George who he travels with, George who finds work for them on farms, George who acts as his father, mother and friend, his spokesman. George gives Lennie a dream that they both live for, a dream of having their own Rabbit farm. The hundred page novel brings out the simple tradegy associated with Lennie's existence: he cannot escape the fact that he is the only simple-minded soul in a mean world. An easy read, this novel also brings to light some aspects of how African American's were treated in those time, the threat of lynching looms large at otherwise educated and strong person, ridiculed by a bimbo, a senseless woman, who marries one man and encourages every other as "nigger who could be killed at her one gesture".

There are a few other characters, developed nicely, but on the whole the novel is written in slangish style, spoken sentences lack grammar and descriptions of events and places is at a level of ten year old's vocabulary. So its a masterpiece more because it tells the story so simply, and yet manages to make it ever so memorable. There is a unercurrent of imminent tradegy throughout the novel, and even though its a short novel, it provides a peep into the farms and workers of early twentieth century America.

1 comment:

Vivek said...


Temple Stark
April 3, 2006
02:13 PMI may be unusual - or not - but I like new reviews of classics. With so much dumped on classics as far as opinion and study, it becomes hard to discern how much the author orignally intended; how deep were his or her original meanings, plots and plans for the book and its characters.

New reviews of old classics help in this way.

Also, there is some garble in the paragraph that begins ::: The hundred page novel brings out the simple tragedy .

Thank you

April 3, 2006
04:48 PM
you have made a too simple summary of what I consider a wonderful experience the book is.

The whole human aspect of relation between George and Lennie is fantastic in development. There can be fewer portraits that are richer and beat this in conciseness.

The one that comes to mind is the old man in "old man and the sea".

I might do a review just to explain myself better. :)
April 3, 2006
05:55 PMThis is the book I use to pick up women in Star Bucks. Makes you look intelligent ;)

P.S: A classic read. In my view one of the best books of 20th century.