Of Mice and Men

by John Steinbeck

Read this in about 4 minutes

Classics are one of the most difficult genres for me. Hence, I attempt to read at least two of those in a year, because, what’s life without a few challenges? I had heard so much about John Steinbeck that I bought a book by him (the name of which I don’t recall). Of mice and men was one title I had heard a lot about, so when I stumbled upon this particular edition of it, I had to have it.

Cover: Of Mice and Men

Is the story as beautiful as the cover, let’s see!

Cover

Being a very loved American Modern classic, this book has been widely published with different cover pages. I am a little biased towards the cover I own. It is one of the editions by Penguin with a bright abstract portrayal of the plot of the book. There is an endless land with two men on the horizon—one big and one small. There is also a drawing of a woman that catches one’s attention. It is a simple yet pleasing cover, which was one of the reasons that had me reaching for the book.

Characters

Lennie and George are two friends heading towards their new work place. They encounter their fellow workmates at the farm, where they also meet their boss’s son and his wife. These are the main characters in the book.

Content

Walking through a forest George and Lennie are heading towards their new work place. George is the smaller of the two but the smarter and wiser one who has taken Lennie under his wing. Though Lennie is big, he is small minded with little capacity to understand or do things by himself. His physical strength is more of a weakness than strength, which often becomes a reason for him to land in trouble. With trouble raked up at his earlier workplace, they are heading to a new ranch, with a little dream of their own.

George and Lennie dream of owning a small patch of land, a piece of their own where they raise cattle and farm, oh and have rabbits too! Armed with this dream they join their new work place. They make friends and foes at this place, but will they last long enough to make enough money to get their little patch of land? Or will Lennie’s innocent mistakes land them in trouble again?

Language

The book is written in typical Cowboy slang that can be seen in old American movies or books. It might be a little difficult to understand at times, but its a short read, hence making it less cumbersome.

Good Points

I don’t always get why some books are so loved, but with this one I do. Often, books with the simplest plots, simplest characters and messages are the ones that are most impactful. It is a wonderful narrative about dreams, friendship and how one is torn to make life altering choices when life calls for it.

Bad Points

I wished the language was a tad simpler, but again that’s one of the things that make this book so unique.

Overall

Like I already mentioned, there are no frills and frolics here. It is a book that is as close to reality as it gets. It was a touching read that reminded me to dream, no matter what. It showed me that you do not have to smart or educated or anything as such—dreams are not restricted and dreams are what keep us going.

Another beautiful thing about this book that has also been adapted into a movie is the portrayal of friendship. The way one person has the other’s back, and how sometimes we are bound to do something that may not be the prettiest thing for the person we love. It helps one see, through unbiased eyes—actions and their consequences.

Who do I recommend this to?

It is a short and engaging book, and the one that shows the blatant reality of life and relationships. So all you guys reading this, go read the book!

Quotable Quotes

Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.

Guy don’t need no sense to be a nice fella. Seems to me sometimes it jus’ works the other way around. Take a real smart guy and he ain’t hardly ever a nice fella.

As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment.

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Gazala Amreen

Logophile, bibliophile, writer, designer, high on wanderlust and all things pretty.

Bangalore, KA merakipost.com