Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck took place in a small working ranch in the Salinas Valley of northern California, sometime in the early 1900’s. The longer background to the novels setting is The Great Depression, originated in the U.S. and was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. Many people, especially men, lost their jobs due to personal income, tax revenue, profits, and prices that dropped. This affected the rich and the poor.
In Mice and Men there are two main characters, George Milton & Lennie Small. George Milton is a hard working farmworker, as it states in the book, “small and quick, dark of face with restless eyes and sharp, strong features…. With small & strong hands.” He is the Guardian of Lennie Small. Lennie Small is a big guy, tall, strong and a very good farmworker, but there is more to him. Lennie small is not the brightest person, he has a mental disability and doesn’t know his own strength. He has a mind of a young child, so he acts and talks like one. He fixates like owning his own rabbits, since he loves to pet soft things, like mice and rabbits. However due to his disability he causes many troubles, always holds George back, and always moves town to town because Lennie ends up getting in trouble, and George is always coming to the rescue.
The story focuses on two migrant workers named George Milton and Lennie Small who travel together finding jobs at the farm around California Salinas valley. Lennie and George are unusual because they stick together unlike other migrant workers. They are also so unusual from each other because they are so different from each other. Lennie is tall and has a mental disability and George is smart and tough. George takes care of Lennie and both have this big dream of owning their own farm. At the beginning of the book they stop at this pound to rest due to walking a lot. They are headed to the place where they are expected to work. Near the pound George describes how easy his life could be if he didn’t have to take care of Lennie he wouldn’t have to worry if Lennie got himself in trouble like he did in the last farm. Lennie say a girl in a red dress and really like the look of it that he wanted to touch it. When Lennie touched the dress the girl screamed Lennie panicked and grabbed on harder. The girl claimed she was raped and a mobbed formed to capture Lennie. So that was why Lennie and George had to look for a new job. George tells Lennie if he gets in any trouble at the new ranch, he should come back to the pound and hide in the bushes. Once they get to the ranch the bosses son Curley immediately doesn’t like Lennie, just because he is taller than him and isn’t like him. Curley is not the only problem but his wife is too. She flirts with almost all the guys that come to find jobs. She does this because she feels that Curley doesn’t give her a lot of attention, but she finds Lennie somehow different from the others. This means trouble is heading Lennie’s way. One day in the barn Lennie is there and then Curley’s wife asked Lennie if he would want to stroke her hair because she thinks it’s so soft. Lennie stokes her hair but does it to hard. She gets angry and puts her head back, Lennie then panics gets hold of her hair again and he covers her mouth to keep her from screaming. She then starts to struggle. Lennie then shakes her accidentally breaking her neck. She then lies still, Lennie then realizes that he killed her so he runs off to the pond. Curley knows that Lennie did this so because of what Lennie did Curley wants to capture and kill him. A worker says that his gun is missing & is guessing that Lennie took it. George ha no choice but to join