An intimate portrait of two men who cherish the slim bond between them and the dream they share in a world marred by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness.
Clinging to each other in their loneliness and alienation, George and his simple-minded friend Lennie dream, as drifters will, of a place to call their own—a couple of acres and a few pigs, chickens, and rabbits back in Hill Country where land is cheap. But after they come to work on a ranch in the fertile Salinas Valley of California, their hopes, like “the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men,” begin to go awry.
Despite the fact that this is a very common summer reading novel, and one of Steinbeck’s most popular, I have never read this book.
For 11th grade, I took AP Language and Composition, and for summer reading, I had to read East of Eden by Steinbeck. While there are similar settings and themes in both, the content is vastly different.
My primary experience with this novel comes from TV shows and movies. Specifically, I remember watching a Family Guy episode where they did their own version of classic pieces of literature, with this being one of them. So, while I know the basic plot structure and the ending of the novel, I don’t know much about it.
Why is this chosen?
A trend that I’m noticing with a majority of the summer reading novels I have covered is that the novels are short. This is no exception with its 106 pages.
However, should it only be picked because it is a short novel?
Well, this novel has more going for it than its length. First, it has a lot of themes covered that are important to address. Not only that, but it also serves as a good introduction to part two of American Literature.
Like I mentioned before, my experience when entering 11th grade was reading a Steinbeck novel. Even though there was a different focus, they both address the effect of the class divide during turbulent times in California, as well as human nature.