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Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men

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Published by kirstie
practically anything from Of Mice and Men you will ever need.
[not complete]
practically anything from Of Mice and Men you will ever need.
[not complete]

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Published by: kirstie on Dec 22, 2007
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04/28/2013

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Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck.
Published by Covici, Friede, Inc., 1937
 
About the book:
The book takes place during the time it was written, The Great Depression, where theAmerican economy took an unexpected nosedive and unemployment sprang from 14% -19%. The title is taken from Robert Burns’s famous poem, To a Mouse, wherein states:"The best-laid plans of mice and men/ go oft awry." Nearly half of the origionalmanuscript was destroyed by Steinbeck’s Irish Setter puppy, it took two months to re-create.
About the author:
The settings of most of his books are in areas near Salinas and
Monterey
, in California,where Steinbeck was born and lived most of his life. He came from a working-class background, and most of his characters have to struggle to make a living. His descriptionsof characters and language of farmhands is applauded for being so accurate because helived that life. His writings drifted from 1930’s laboring class to war. He was a filmmaker and Marine Biologist. Most of his novels depict aspects from marine biology, the bible,and personal experiences which give them an odd edge; they can be seen from a psychological, biological, or biblical point of view.
Characters (and their archetypes):
1.
*George Milton
– A quick-witted and quick-tempered man who struggles to look after Lennie. He tells stories of a different life, illustrating a longing to escape thefarm hand’s community of segregation and unreliability.
2.
*Lennie Small
– A mentally disabled man who travels with George. Large physically and having the mental compacity of child gives way to small dreams of “living off the fatta the land” and tending rabbits. Lennie holds an obsession withthings soft of touch. Being characterized by the mental capacity of a child and thestrength of a "bull" he is unable to control or even judge his own physical prowess- leading to a series of accidental killings when “soft” things try to escapehim.
3.
Candy
 – A ranch worker who lost a hand in an accident and is nearing the end of his usefulness on the ranch. He received an extraordinary sum for the loss of hishand and otherwise knows he doesn’t have much to live for. When he overhearsGeorge and Lennie discussing their future plans of a small farm he insists he willcontribute his money, as well, in exchange for living compensations. He is practically powerless on the ranch and can’t even influence the fate of his owndog- killed by Carlson. He believes one of the best things in life would be a quiet place to live it out.
4.
Candy's dog
– Candy's dog has a parallel with his owner: They are both old andregarded as useless on a busy ranch where younger and newer models are alwaysready, and willing, to replace them. The dog is arthritis stricken, blind, andoffends the ranch hands with it’s odor. Slim is willing to give Candy a pup inorder to put the old one out of it’s misery. It is finally shot by Carlson, and Candy
 
regrets not killing it himself. The fate of the dog foreshadows the ending of Lennie and maybe even Candy himself.
5.
Curley
 – The boss's son – a young, quarrelsome character, who was once a semi- professional boxer. He is an incredibly jealous person and is protective of his wife(even though she doesn’t even like him). He seems to be compensating for something because he is always hateful and immediately takes a disliking toLennie. He is insecure of his small stature but knows he can handle anyone of equal or smaller size, while anyone larger would be told to “pick on someone their own size” if provoked into action.
6.
Curley's wife
– A young, physically attractive woman, referred to as "tart" by theranch hands and mistrusted by her husband. One of the only characters in the book not given a name, she seems lonely and is mean-spirited because of it. Her dreams of becoming an actress were crushed by her mother, so she married thenext man she met and took off, unluckily said man happened to be Curley. Her inappropriate dress and flirtatious manner lead to her, as well as Lennie’s, demiseas she lets Lennie feel her soft hair.
7.
*Slim
 – A "jerk line skinner" (the main driver of a mule team
 
1
) is referred to as"prince of the ranch". Slim’s word is law and he decides on the mercy-killing of Candy's dog while he later tells George he had no choice in the mercy-killing of Lennie. Before this, it is Slim who helps Lennie avoid getting fired after Lennie'sfight with Curley.
8.
Crooks
 – The only African American hand on the ranch, referred to as "nigger" by almost all. He is crippled, his nickname refers to a crooked back resulting from being kicked by a horse. He sleeps segregated from the other workers and isfiercely defensive of his "rights". While he is lonely, he does not want others toknow of his true feelings. When Lennie visits his room, he immediately takes theopportunity to scare him into submission – a rare chance for him to exercise power- but he is won over by Lennie’s innocent nature and lets him stay. Crooksobviously has no other friends on the ranch due to the time setting of the noveland his segregation. He also wants to join in on George’s dream but gives up onceLennie is killed.
9.
*Carlson
Egotistical and unable to empathize with anyone, he wants to shootCandy's old and infirm dog because he doesn't like its smell. He finally does so(with the same pistol which was later used by George to shoot Lennie), withSlim’s consent. He has the final, and supremely ironic, line of the book wondering(as Slim and George walk away from Lennie’s dead body): "What the hell ya'suppose is eatin' them two guys?"
10.
Whit
- A young, inexperienced man who is enthusiastic about life on the ranch. Not mentioned but twice and has no major role other than in one scene he bringsup a magazine and a former farmhand.

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