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Steinbeck - Of Mice And Men

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John Steinbeck: Of Mice and Men

The novel "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck in California in the late thirties. Steinbeck tells about the life of George and Lennie and shows the situaton of migrant workers at this time.
The two friends are an extraordinary pair. George is small, quick and intelligent. Lennie is quite the opposite. He is a tall, broad-shouldered, clumsy and simple-minded person, who likes to pet things especially rabbits. Between them exists a kind of father-son relationship. George protects Lennie from making mistakes and treats him like a child, he feels responsible for Lennie. Lennie does not get along without George, because he gets into trouble very easily due to his child-like behaviour. Furthermore they dream of their future. They want to possess their own little farm with a big vegetable patch and a rabbit-cage for Lennie, who loves to tend rabbits.
Both have been travelling together for some time and have gone through several jobs, because Lennie gets them into trouble all the time. At their last job in Weed Lennie has touched a woman's dress, but she has started to cry in fear of getting raped, so they had to flee.
When George and Lennie are on their way to their new job on a ranch near Soledad, George instructs Lennie not to talk to avoid trouble and shows him a place to hide, if he gets into trouble.
During their first day on the ranch they find out that Curley, the son of their new boss, is dangerous, because he wants to fight against Lennie. Lennie is attracted by Curley's wife who is heavily made up and behaves like a prostitute.
George and Lennie get to know Candy, an old swamper. He wants to take part in their dream and offers them his whole money for a little farm when he may live with them together.
Moreover Curley starts a fight with Lennie, but Lennie does not defend himself. After George tells him to do so he breaks Curley's hand and wins the fight.
Besides Lennie meets Curley's wife in the barn. First he refuses to speak with her but later on they begin a talk. She encourages him to touch her soft hair. Lennie holds her tight and begins to pet her hair harder and harder. Curley's wife struggles and yell, so Lennie panics and shakes her body to stop her refusion but her neck breaks. When he realizes what he has done he flees and hides where George has shown him.
After the other workers find Curley's wife dead they start to hunt Lennie to kill him. George runs immediately to the hiding place. When he finds Lennie, he diverts him and shoots him finally in the head from behind.
I do not like the plot of "Of Mice and Men". Because there is less action and humor it is boring.
But inspite of it there is something special about this novel. You can learn much from the novel concerning the situation of migrant workers at this time.
Furthermore the author describes the main characters and their relationship, especially between George and Lennie, very well. It is easiy to put yourself into each character. Sometimes Lennie does something bad you feel compassion.
I am astonished about the structure of the novel. There are a lot of structural elements of drama in it. There are very much dialogues and very detailed descriptions of the setting.
Kurze Zusammenfassung und Kommentar zu John Steinbeck's Buch "Of Mice And Men". (576 Wörter)
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