Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Of Mice and Men

Everyone knows about the Dust bowl of 1931, but not everyone knows what life during the Dust bowl was like. John Steinback was there in California at the time of the Dust bowl and he knows how life was. John Steinback wrote the novel Of Mice and Men to show how life was during that time. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinback, is a great novel. I have to be honest; Of Mice and Men stunned me to my core. Of Mice and Men is a very eye-opening novel.

The main characters in this novel are two men named George, and Lennie. George is a skinny defined man, while Lennie is a more rounded. Lennie is also special, which becomes very evident within the first few pages of the novel. Lennie is slow minded, and his favorite thing to do is pet soft objects or animals. Lennie also tends to mimic Georges movement. If George rests his head on his hands then Lennie looks at him and tries rest his head on his hands just like George are. George is like a father to Lennie. George protects Lennie and has been watching over him ever since Lennie’s aunt passed away. George and Lennie are traveling partners, and they travel from job to job collecting their stake.

The two men have a great dream in mind. They intend to take all the stake that they are saving up from their jobs and buy some land over their own. George promises Lennie that is he behaves he will let him take care of the rabbits that they will have on their future ranch. George tells Lennie that he can feed the rabbits the alfalfa that they will grow. The dream to own land was not only a dream of George and Lennie. All the men at the time of the Dust bowl wished to own their own piece of property in which they could run on their own, without someone bossing them around. Hardly any men reached that dream, because times were very hard and everyone needs to find their own comfort to get them along, and sometimes such comforts cost money.

John Steinback really captured the life of men at the time of the Dust bowl. I will admit that the men had fowl language, but what is to be expected of men living in such hard times. Steinback showed the hardships that men went through and all the hard decisions that each man had to make. Some men were privileged, such as the ranch owners and their families; while other men were under privileged, such as the ranch workers that bucked barley and lived in bunker houses. John illustrates that the people living in the time of the Dust bowl lived with only the bare essentials of living.

I highly recommend that everyone read Of Mice and Men at sometime in their life. I would recommend that younger kids wait until they reach high school before reading the novel, because of the language, but nonetheless they should read it. I loved how close George and Lennie were. They only had each other, which is why the ending of the story really surprised me. John Steinback really knew what he was doing when he wrote this story, and because he was alive during the time of the Dust bowl, his knowledge and passion on the subject really shown through. I hope to read more of his books to see how great they are. I plan to read The Grapes of Wrath, The Pearl, and Travels with Charlie.

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