Explore BrainMass

Explore BrainMass

    John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men

    24 Pages | 7,703 Words
    Ashley Kannan, MA (#114669)

    Everything You Need to Know About John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men will increase the reader’s understanding of literary and historical elements that make Steinbeck’s novella one of the most important in American Literature. More will be gained in reading Everything You Need to Know About John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men in conjunction with Of Mice and Men, and not substituting it.

    The intent of Everything You Need to Know About John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is to probe the multiple levels of Of Mice and Men. Examining the work’s plot, its literary qualities, its themes, its characters represents a deeper appreciation for what Steinbeck has created. As with many works of art, Of Mice and Men has to be appreciated on many different levels. Everything You Need to Know About John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men will be successful if it can trigger some new thought or insight about Steinbeck’s work.

    Steinbeck’s treatment of dreams, the struggle to bring them into reality, and how we are better for living a life dedicated to dreams are universal qualities that can help people understand what to do and how to live. Everything You Need to Know About John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men hopes to underscore what Steinbeck felt about the power of dreams. Through its discussion of Steinbeck’s work, this eBook strives to emphasize how we can dream, even in the most difficult of situations.

    This book is ideal for high school and college students. However, Everything You Need to Know About John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men can be appreciated by anyone who is reading this landmark work.

    An Introduction to John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men

    John Steinbeck is considered to be one of America’s premier writers. He was an important literary presence during the 1930s, when America was in the clutches of the economic and social challenges of the Great Depression. In the midst of such hopelessness, Steinbeck composed works that spoke about the value of community, the strength in solidarity, and how individuals can transform what is into what can be.

    However, the road to literary prestige was not a very easy one for John Steinbeck. Throughout the 1920s, Steinbeck lived the life of a transient worker or a “bindle stiff.” He and his wife moved from place to place and struggled economically. Steinbeck wrote in 1935 that he “had a thin, lonely, hungry time of it” while working as a manual laborer and journalist. He lived an experience of “roaches under my washbasin and the impossibility of getting a job.” His life amongst migrant workers left an indelible impact on him. These elements help to craft the narrative that emerges in Of Mice and Men.

    During this time, Steinbeck wrote a trio of works that specifically addressed labor issues. His own experiences as a worker played a large role in the construction of In Dubious Battle and The Grapes of Wrath. In the middle of this was what Steinbeck termed “a little study in humility,” otherwise known as Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck developed a new style in the small novella. Written in the form of a “play- novelette,” the story revolves around two migrant workers, Lennie and George, and their struggles to find work and to have a dream. The story takes place over a weekend.

    There are six divisions, what might as well be seen as chapters to the novella. It is told in a third person omniscient form. Steinbeck’s narrator operates as a stage director, of sorts, reflecting a stage- like element within the novella. There are passages that open each scene, operating like stage directions in terms of setting as the book was intended to be both a novella and a script.

    Of Mice and Men is incredibly important because it captures one of the most basic human experiences: What does it mean to dream? The book reminds us of how when we dream, we all become child- like. Even the most embittered old person reverts to childhood fancy when confronted with the pure optimism intrinsic to dreams. When Lennie insists on tending the rabbits, we recognize this in our own lives. While it may look different, we share his yearning and faith that it will happen. If one element has defined human beings, it has been the capacity to dream and envision a world so different from the one in which we live. Steinbeck successfully addresses this elemental and yet one of the most difficult components of human identity in Of Mice and Men.

    Everything You Need to Know About John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men focuses on the elements that form Of Mice and Men. Through attention paid to the development of its plot, the characters that form the narrative, its distinctive literary elements, and its themes, this ebook will be successful if students can understand more about the depth in Steinbeck’s work. It provides a clear explanation on complex aspects in Of Mice and Men.


    About the Author

    Ashley Kannan, MA

    Active since Sep 2014

    Ashley 's BrainMass Profile