Of Mice and Men Quotes. Of Mice and Men Themes. Of Mice and Men: Theme Analysis. Theme Analysis When discussing the thematics of Steinbeck's novel, we would do well to first examine the title, which is an allusion to a line of Robert Burns, a Scottish poet: "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft aglay.
" Translated into modern English, the verse reads: "The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry. " This cynical statement is at the heart of the novel's action and serves as a foreshadowing prophecy of all that is to come. Major Themes. Introduction Much like Steinbeck's short novel The Pearl, Of Mice and Men is a parable that tries to explain what it means to be human.
His friend Ed Ricketts shaped Steinbeck's thinking about man's place in the universe. Of Mice and Men: Context. John Steinbeck was born in 1902 in Salinas, California, a region that became the setting for much of his fiction, including Of Mice and Men.
As a teenager, he spent his summers working as a hired hand on neighboring ranches, where his experiences of rural California and its people impressed him deeply. In 1919, he enrolled at Stanford University, where he studied intermittently for the next six years before finally leaving without having earned a degree. For the next five years, he worked as a reporter and then as caretaker for a Lake Tahoe estate while he completed his first novel, an adventure story called Cup of Gold, which was published in 1929. Of Mice and Men: Themes, Motifs & Symbols. Themes Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.
The Predatory Nature of Human Existence Of Mice and Men teaches a grim lesson about the nature of human existence. Of Mice and Men: Analysis of Major Characters. Lennie Although Lennie is among the principal characters in Of Mice and Men, he is perhaps the least dynamic.
He undergoes no significant changes, development, or growth throughout the story and remains exactly as the reader encounters him in the opening pages. Simply put, he loves to pet soft things, is blindly devoted to George and their vision of the farm, and possesses incredible physical strength. Nearly every scene in which Lennie appears confirms these and only these characteristics. Of Mice and Men: John Steinbeck Biography. Early Years John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr., was born on February 27, 1902, in Salinas, California, to a father, John Ernst Steinbeck, who had settled in California shortly after the Civil War, and a mother, Olive Hamilton Steinbeck, who was a public schoolteacher.
Steinbeck grew up in the beautiful, fertile Salinas Valley, and most of his memorable novels and short stories would be set in California. Situated between the Santa Lucia range and the Gabilan Mountains, this valley in west central California is bordered on the north by Monterey Bay and on the south by San Luis Obispo. Chapter 6. Summary Lennie is by the deep pool of the Salinas River, waiting for George.
He talks to himself, repeating that George will be mad and give him hell. From his memory, he creates his Aunt Clara, who stares disapprovingly and scolds him because once again he did not listen to George. Then Aunt Clara disappears and is replaced in Lennie's mind by a giant rabbit, who takes Aunt Clara's job of scolding Lennie and tells him he cannot tend the rabbits and that George will beat Lennie with a stick. Lennie protests that George has never "raised his han' to me with a stick. " Chapter 6. Chapter 5. Summary Lennie is alone inside the barn, stroking a dead puppy.
Worried that George will find out and won't let him tend the rabbits, Lennie buries the dead pup in the hay and says that he will claim to have found it dead. Chapter 4. Summary It is Saturday night, and Crooks is alone in his room when Lennie appears in the door.
At first Crooks sends Lennie away, but eventually a conversation ensues in which Lennie says he came into the barn to see his pups, and Crooks warns Lennie that he is taking the pups from the nest too much. Chapter 3. Summary Alone in the bunkhouse, George thanks Slim for giving Lennie a pup.
Slim comments on Lennie's ability to work hard and mentions that it is obvious Lennie is not too bright. Chapter 2. Summary The next morning, George and Lennie arrive at the ranch and go to the bunkhouse. The old swamper, Candy, informs them the boss is mad because they were supposed to arrive the night before. After Candy shows them which bunks to take, the conversation turns to people at the ranch, whom he describes.
Of Mice and Men: Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis. Summary Two men, dressed in denim jackets and trousers and wearing "black, shapeless hats," walk single-file down a path near the pool. Both men carry blanket rolls — called bindles — on their shoulders. Of Mice and Men: Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men Character List. Lennie Small A migrant worker who is mentally handicapped, large, and very strong. He depends on his friend George to give him advice and protect him in situations he does not understand. His enormous strength and his pleasure in petting soft animals are a dangerous combination.
He shares the dream of owning a farm with George, but he does not understand the implications of that dream. George Milton A migrant worker who protects and cares for Lennie. George dreams of some day owning his own land, but he realizes the difficulty of making this dream come true. Crooks. Crooks is so named because of a crooked back caused by a kick from a horse. Crooks is the stable hand who takes care of the horses and lives by himself because he is the only black man on the ranch. Along with Candy, Crooks is a character used by Steinbeck to show the effects of discrimination. This time the discrimination is based on race, and Crooks is not allowed in the bunkhouse with the white ranch hands. He has his own place in the barn with the ranch animals. Slim. Slim is described always in terms of dignity and majesty. When he first comes into the bunkhouse, he moves "with a majesty achieved only by royalty and master craftsmen. He was a jerk-line skinner, the prince of the ranch, capable of driving ten, sixteen, even twenty mules with a single line to the leaders.
" Slim is tall, ageless, and an expert in his job. His voice is the voice of rationalism. When Carlson suggests killing Candy's dog, Candy appeals to Slim as the final authority. Curley's Wife. Curley. Candy. Lennie Small. George Milton. Of Mice and Men: Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck - review. John Steinbeck Biography. National Steinbeck Center. Of Mice and Men: Analysis of Major Characters. GCSE Bitesize: Ranch hands. GCSE Bitesize: John Steinbeck.