John Steinbeck's timeless novel, Of Mice and Men, is a piece of literature that many teens encounter in high school. It explores the story of two migrant workers during the Great Depression. What are the central themes of the novel?
Of Mice and Men is about the American Dream
Lennie and George are lower-class field workers. They seek to become their own bosses, yet are prevented from doing so.
George and Lennie's dream of owning a farm
George and Lennie see beyond their present circumstances. They dream of having their own farm, complete with puppies and other animals.Explore
Of Mice and Men is about friendship
George and Lennie are extremely loyal to each other. In addition, George, Lennie, and their fellow workers build a sense of comradery over the course of the book.
George and Lennie's friendship
George and Lennie travel together and have a unique dynamic.Explore
Of Mice and Men is about the loss of innocence
One of the protagonists of the story, Lennie, views the world in a childlike way, due to a mental disability. His inability to understand his strength often leads to him accidentally hurting others.
Lennie's interactions with animals
Lennie has a fixation on small, soft animals and is known for accidentally killing them.Explore
Lennie's interactions with women
Lennie often finds himself in situations in which he injures or frightens a woman.Explore
Of Mice and Men is about prejudice
George remarks that he used to play mean-spirited pranks on Lennie. Also, Crooks (an African-American man on the ranch with them) is often the target of racism and isolation.
Mistreatment of Lennie
Throughout the novel, George often makes passive-aggressive (and sometimes, just plain rude) comments to Lennie.Explore
Crooks' life on the farm
Crooks is the only African-American man living on the ranch. He is often subject to racist attitudes and actions of other men living on the ranch.Explore
Of Mice and Men is about death
Death is a key part of the story from the beginning of the book. Death and violence affects every character.
The death of Curley's wife
The death of Curley's wife comes as a tragic result of Lennie's ignorance of his strength. The reactions to her death start a manhunt against Lennie.Explore
The novel comes to a close with George killing Lennie to try to make things right.Explore
This page was last edited on Thursday, 7 May 2020 at 14:26 UTC