Book Review: Of Mice and Men – A Bizarre Novella

Book Review: Of Mice and Men - A Bizarre Novella

Algeo Rosario, Reporter

Books you read sometimes can make you go, “What’s going on?” That’s how it felt like reading “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck. This novella was published in 1937 making it difficult to understand and follow while the dialogue threw me off because of its old broken English.

The book starts out with two migrant field workers, George Milton and Lennie Small, leaving Weed, California to look for work in the early 1900s. Readers learn that the men have been kicked out of the town because Lennie was accused of touching a woman’s dress and was punished for “attempted rape.”

Lennie has mental disabilities, but George is always there to help him out, demonstrating the theme of friendship in this story.

George’s dream is to own a piece of land and Lennie wants to own a farm of rabbits, because he likes touching soft things. After leaving Weed, they soon get a job at a ranch where they meet other workers Candy, Slim, Curley and Crooks.

Crooks is an outcast because of his race. He gets along with Lennie and understands his mental disability. Curley isn’t fond of Lennie and even attacks him for talking about his wife and laughing at him. This fight ends up with Lennie crushing Curley’s hand causing him to lose it.

George and Lennie continue to work as migrant workers while Lennie continues to get into trouble. Lennie has a habit of touching soft things. Someone offered him a puppy to keep, but he petted it too hard and inadvertently kills it. This habit turns worse when Curley’s wife offers her hair to Lennie to touch. Lennie caresses her hair too hard and ends up cracking her neck, killing her. After these events George makes up his mind to solve Lennie’s problems, in a very dramatic ending.

I’m not going to spoil the ending, but I will say it’s really tragic and heartbreaking. It even made me want to shed a tear or two. Despite its positive reviews,  this book has been banned in US public and school libraries for some of the content. This should be on your list of books to read because it has some really dramatic and strong themes that you don’t want to miss.