The Inspiration to Write
Of Mice and Men, written by John Steinbeck and published in 1937, tells a depressing story of George and Lennie during the great depression who commute together to find work. They’re faced with great difficulties and stay on the run due to George’s actions. Steinbeck wrote this book in a new style, which is called a novella. It is longer than a regular short story, but it is shorter than a novel. This novella is unique because he wrote it motive of it being granted on the stage as a play-novelette.
The inspiration to write this story came from Steinbeck’s own experiences working as a farm laborer, and the observations he made of the migrant laborer camps. Lennie, a mentally challenged man, continuously getting into trouble and pulls George, Lennies friend/guardian figure along with him. Because of Lennie’s unintentional actions; he and George are forced to travel to find farm jobs. In the novel they end up at a ranch in Soledad, California. Like in every town they’ve worked at, Lennie ends up getting in major trouble at this ranch when he accidentally kills Curley’s wife, a pretty woman played by Sherilyn Fenn. When the other men of the ranch found out they decided to go after Lennie and want to kill him for his crime.
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George takes it into consideration that it has to be him who kills Lennie. Because of George killing Lennie; he prevented many more problems from happening. The novel gives insight on real world problems and many of the prejudices during the time: racism, sexism, and prejudices towards disabilities. John Steinbeck uses these prejudices to connect with the characters. For example, the prejudice towards disabilities connect with George’s character. The ranch men did not like him at all due to him being mentally challenged and the accidents that happened. Of Mice and Men is an tremendously downhearted novel. Steinbeck creates a small group of people aspirations and then compares them with real life which they can not achieve. For instance, the dream that George and Lennie had of owning their own farm and rabbits. They clearly cannot achieve this due to both of them being indigent, we can see this problem throughout the novel.Steinbeck does give an optimistic view because although they do not achieve their dreams their strong friendship stands out the most. George and Lennie’s friendship shows us how people can still be happy without having nothing and the way the world treats them. The title Of Mice and Men was inspired by a Robert Burns poem, To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough. The poem tells a story about a mouse trying to protect his house from a huge plough. Steinbeck saw similarities between the struggle of the mouse and the struggle of a farm worker. The farm worker was desperate to conquer being successful. Because of the circumstances beyond his control; the farmer could not achieve what he wanted. The novel really tugs at the heart and gives a great emotional value. Steinbeck really put a lot of work into this novella to satisfy his readers. Reading Lennie and George’s journey makes you think about reality and the problems we face in today’s society. Many genres are included which is amazing because it gives the novel an interesting feature and makes the novel interesting. Another great thing is that there are plot twist and suspenseful parts of the movie which keeps the reader interested and wanting to read more. Overall, Of Mice and Men is proven to be Steinbeck’s most popular works, being successful as a novel, a play, and three acclaimed films.