Of Mice and Men is a book set on a Californian grain farm in the 1930s’. The main characters of this book are George and Lennie. This book is overall about migrant workers who failed to achieve their American Dream. The main characters, George and Lennie, go from farm to farm, trying to save up money for their own farm. On their latest job they go to work on a farm after having to run away from their old work place, Weed. In their new farm, they meet many people including Curley, a little boxer guy who hates guys bigger than him like Lennie, and Curley's Wife, who messes everything up in the end.
There are many characters in this book. George is a small, wiry, quick-witted man who travels with, and cares for, Lennie. Although he frequently speaks of how much better his life would be without Lennie, but George is obviously devoted to Lennie. Lennie is large childlike migrant worker. Due to his mild mental disability, Lennie completely depends upon George for almost everything. Next comes Candy. Candy next to Slim is probably the best company George and Lennie had on the ranch. Candy is an aging ranch handyman, Candy lost his hand due to an accident. Because of loneliness he seizes on George’s description of the farm he and Lennie will have, offering his life’s savings if he can join George and Lennie in owning the land. Curley’s wife is the only female character in the story, Curley’s wife is never given a name and is only mentioned in reference to her husband. The men on the farm refer to her as a “tramp,” a “tart,” and a “jailbait.” In the book Steinbeck portrays her as a victim rather than a antagonist. Crooks, the black stable-hand, gets his name from his crooked back. Proud, bitter, and caustically funny, he is isolated from the other men because of the color of his skin. The boss’s son, Curley wears high-heeled boots to distinguish himself from the field hands. Rumored to be a champion prizefighter, he is a confrontational, mean, and aggressive young man who seeks to compensate for his small stature by picking fights with larger men.
Slim, highly skilled mule driver and the acknowledged “prince” of the ranch, Slim is the only character who seems to be at peace with himself. The other characters often look to Slim for advice. Carlson, a ranch-hand, Carlson complains bitterly about Candy’s old, smelly dog. He convinces Candy to put the dog out of its misery. When Candy finally agrees, Carlson promises to execute the task without causing the animal any pain. The Boss, he stocky, well-dressed man in charge of the ranch, and Curley’s father. Aunt Clara, Lennie’s aunt, who cared for him until her death, does not actually appear in the work until the very end.
This book is set during the Great Depression of the 1930s in two places. It starts beside a stream, close to the Salinas River, a few miles south of Soledad, California. It then moves to a ranch, where the major part of the story is set. At the end of the novel, the setting comes back to where it started.George and Lennie are introduced by the stream. They are on their way to a nearby ranch. The surrounding land is thick in vegetation and has its own wildlife. Men frequent it, as there are ash piles made by many fires and the limbs of the sycamore tree have been smoothed by the many men who have…