Of mice and men is a novella written by John Steinbeck. It was published in 1937, and made to a movie 2 years later, in 1939. Of Mice and Men tells a tragic story of George Milton and Lennie small, two ranch workers during the Great Depression in California.
”Guys like us, that work on ranches are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don’t belong no place… With us it ain’t like that. We got a future… because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you” That sentence is often said by George Milton. He is one of the two main characters in the novel.
The novel is a tale of a friendship between two ranch workers, George Milton and Lennie Small. Lennie is a giant man, but he has the mind of a young child. He often gets into trouble, but he never means to harm anyone. He loves to stroke nice soft things, but he ends up killing them. George Milton is an intelligent man. He’s been abusing Lennie’s trust in the past, but his friend with Lennie now. He doesn’t want Lennie to be hurt. We don’t get a background story about why George is helping Lennie.
The novel is written during the Great Depression in California. Lennie and George are on their way to a ranch near Soledad to get a job. They both share the dream that one day they’ll get a piece of land and have a ranch and a farm, but it’ll cost them money. They are fleeing from their previous employment in Weed, where they had to escape from, because Lennie stroked a woman’s dress and were accused for a rape.
Before they go to the ranch, they rest by a river. George tells Lennie to remember that place, so he can run back there to hide if he gets in serious trouble.
They arrive at the ranch the next day. There they meet rest of the characters. Candy is an old man with only one hand. Curley is the boss of the ranch. Curley has a wife, but We never get to know her name. She’s only referred as “Curley’s Wife”. She likes to flirt with other men at the ranch. She married Curley so she could escape the sad life with her mother and have another place to live. Lennie gets attracted to Curley’s Wife.
Curley is an ex-boxer and a bully. Not long after Lennie and George arrive at the ranch, he starts a fight with Lennie. Curley hits him, but Lennie doesn’t want to get in trouble, so he doesn’t hit back. George tells Lennie to fight back. Lennie grabs Curley’s fist with the hand and crushes it with his uncontrollable strength. Slim tells Curley to avoid more humiliation, so they make up a story that his hand got caught in an allmenn machine.
Lennie begs George to ask Slim if he can give away one of the puppies (that his “bitch dog” has born) to Lennie. Lennie gets the puppy, and spend a lot of time in the barn with the newborn puppy. George retells the dream about the farm to Lennie a lot. Candy hears them, and also thinks of the idea of getting their own place.
One Saturday, all the men went to the town, except Lennie, Candy and Crooks. Crooks is a black man. He allows Lennie to his room. The room is very different than the other white men have.
Later that day, when all the men returns from the town, Lennie is inside the barn petting the puppy while the men are outside having a horseshoe competition. Lennie accidently kills his puppy while stroking it too hard with his hands. Then Curley’s Wife enters the barn. Lennie doesn’t see her at first, but notices her after a while. Lennie covers the dead puppy with hay. She starts to flirt with Lennie. After a while of chatting, she tells Lennie that he can stroke her hair and feel how soft it is. Lennie strokes her hair harder and harder, and Curley’s Wife starts to panic. Lennie accidentally breaks her neck. He realizes that he’s done something bad, and covers her with hay and runs off to the place where George told him to go to if he got in serious trouble.
Candy discovers Curley’s wife body under the hay in the barn, and informs George about it. George is afraid that he’ll get blamed for killing her, so he tells Curley to wait till George is at the bunk house (where the farmers live).
Candy informs the men about the corpse in the barn. Curley gets angry, and organizes a hunt to find Lennie and kill him. George returns to the angry mob and joins them. He is now part of the hunt to kill Lennie. He is afraid of what they’ll do with him, so he meets Lennie at the river where he told Lennie to go if he got into trouble. George meets Lennie there, and tells him to think about the farm they’re going to have. Then Lennie pulls out the gun he stole from the bunk house before Candy told the men about the corpse. While Lennie thinks about the ranch, George shoots Lennie in the back of the head. When the other men arrive by the river, George says that Lennie took the gun from him and shot himself in the head. George killed Lennie in mercy to save him from the pain the others would give him.