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Of Mice and Men

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Essay title: Of Mice and Men

Of

Mice and Men

Book Report By:

Claudia Yaeger

6th Hour C.P. English 11

Due: April 15, 2002

1.) Title: Of Mice and Men

Published: Random house, INC

Author: John Steinbeck

Where book was acquired: Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School Library

2.) What type of book: Fiction

3.) Characters:

1.) George- A small man who travels with, and takes care of, Lennie. He frequently talks about how much better his life would be without having Lennie to take care of. George's behavior is motivated by the desire to protect Lennie and, eventually, he wants to lead them both to the farm of their dreams.

2.) Lennie- A large, lumbering, childlike migrant worker. Because of his mild mental disability, Lennie completely depends on George, his friend and traveling companion, for guidance and protection. His love of petting soft things, such as small animals, dresses, and people's hair, leads to disaster, and like George, he wants to get to the farm of his dreams.

3.) Candy- An aging ranch handyman, Candy lost his hand in an accident and worries about his future on the ranch. He is afraid that his age is making him useless, so he gives his life's savings to George and Lennie in hopes of joining them on their way to the farm of their dreams.

4.) Curley's Wife- The only female character in the novel, Curley's wife is never given a name and is only referred to as “Curley’s wife.” Dressed in fancy, feathered red shoes, she represents the temptation of female sexuality in a male-dominated world. She is desperately lonely and has broken dreams of a better life.

5.) Crooks- Crooks, the black stable-hand, gets his name from his crooked back. He is isolated from the other men because of the color of his skin. Soon, Crooks becomes fond of Lennie, and even though he claims to have seen countless men following empty dreams of buying their own land, he asks Lennie if he can go with them, because he wants to hoe in the garden.

4.) Two main conflicts:

1.) Lennie vs. Self- Lennie was in the middle of a constant battle with himself. No matter what he did, it seemed as if he could have done better, or that he shouldn’t have done it at all. He couldn’t control his emotions very well, and had to have someone there to take care of him all the time. In the end, Lennie never overcomes this conflict, and dies by getting shot.

2.) George vs. Lennie- George had to look out for Lennie, because of his mental disability. It almost seemed as if Lennie was getting in the way of things George wanted to do, but George was a good friend by staying with Lennie, and always helped him out when he needed it. Even though George wanted to own his own land. He didn’t let leave Lennie to try to get it.

5.) Setting:

Where: A plantation near the Salinas Valley, in California.

When: In the late 1800’s, early 1900’s

6.) Plot:

Two migrant workers, George and Lennie, have been let off a bus miles away from the California farm where they were to start work. George was a small, dark man, and Lennie, his companion, was a giant man. They were very thirsty, so the two stopped in a clearing by a pool and decide to camp for the night. As the two talked, it became clear that Lennie had a mild mental disability, and was deeply devoted to George and dependent upon him for protection and guidance. George found that Lennie, who loves petting things but accidentally kills them, has been carrying and petting a dead mouse. He gets mad, and throws it away, thinking that Lennie could get a disease from it.

The next day, the men went to the nearby ranch. George is afraid of how the boss will react to Lennie, so he tells him that he'll do all the talking. He lies, explaining that they travel together because they are cousins and that a horse kicked Lennie in the head when he was a child. Shortly after they are hired and meet Candy, an old handyman with a missing hand, and Curley, the boss's mean son. Curley was just married, and very suspicious of his flirtatious wife. Once George and Lennie are alone in the bunkhouse, Curley's wife appears and flirts with them. Lennie thinks she’s pretty, but George

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