Of Mice and Men is a short novel written by the author John Steinbeck, in which he explores the themes of friendship and loneliness. Following the lives of the 1930s ranch workers, and the hope of achieving the ‘American Dream’ and how events can conspire against the realization of ones dreams. For, Steinbeck’s characters, the dream of land represents independence and honour, George and Lennie symbolize the ordinary persons struggle to grasp the dream, which consists of “a little land, not much. Jus’ something that was his”
Steinbeck’s depicts the ranch as a microcosm of the wider society, showcasing the inferiority of women, the inequality of the world and the constant attack of racist remarks toward Crooks. The ranch, as he describes it, is a world without love and in which friendship is viewed as remarkable or rather absurd.
The whole novel has a cyclical structure where the ending is foreseen in the opening of the novel.
The title of the book ‘Of Mice and Men’ originates from the poem ‘To a Mouse poem’ by Robert Burns (1785) whereby a mouse works hard to protect himself and build his nest, however it is destroyed by a plough. And as the title suggests -‘Of mice and Men’, the best laid plans often go astray. With both characters predicted to be doomed from the start because of Lennie’s fatal flaw of being mentally unstable and having the mind of child and thus incapable of seeing the impossibility of their dream-however his naivetés allows both of them to pursue the dream and to believe