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Of Mice and Men written by John Steinbeck.

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Introduction

GCSE English Coursework Assignment Of Mice and Men The novel we are studying is called Of Mice and Men written by John Steinbeck. It was published in 1937. John Steinbeck was born on February 27, 1902 in Salinas, California. John was a good reader when he was younger and when he was older he wanted to become a writer. He has produced some excellent novels such as 'Cup of Gold', 'To A God Unknown' and 'In Dubious Battle' Of Mice and Men was such a success that John rewrote the novel so it could be performed as a play which opened in Broadway. It won the Drama Critics Circle Award. 30 years later John died of heart failure and he was buried in Salinas, California. The novel is set on a ranch in the farmlands of Salinas Valley, which was roughly about 30 miles from John's hometown. A brief summary of the plot would include the two main characters, George and his simple minded friend, Lennie , who grew up together and now, as adults, travel from ranch to ranch seeking work wherever they can find it. They have no friends and dream of saving enough money to buy a place of their own. ...read more.

Middle

They travel together but, unfortunately, every time they have a job, Lennie gets into some kind of trouble, which forces them to run away. This time, they are running from a town called Weed to a ranch where they could work as ranch hands. George's physical appearance is described as small. He always had restless wary eyes. His features were strong and sharp. He is very intelligent and quick-witted. George has been used to physical hardship in the past and has a good knowledge when it comes to ranch work. He knows how to cope with the life he leads. George has low expectations of life although throughout the book he tells Lennie of their dream for the future - namely, owning their own ranch, keeping rabbits etc. I feel that this is said purely to keep Lennie happy and George does not really believe that this will become reality. He took on a great deal when he chooses to take responsibility for Lennie. He took Lennie on partly out of pity. George is an incomplete person without Lennie although he might not show it or even be aware of it himself. Lennie's physical appearance is described as tall, a muscular giant of a man with sloping shoulders, large pale eyes and strong hands. ...read more.

Conclusion

George needs to be needed-to have someone to depend and look up to him. It is an unusual situation. The nomadic existence of a ranch hand seldom involves having a constant friend by your side. This is commented on by the other ranch hands from time to time during the book. Lennie is the central character who evokes our pity and sympathy. He lives a dream-a dream of a better life. At the end of the story George kills him to avoid more fearful death at the hands of others and we feel that his death is a judgement, not on George, but on the society in which they live. My conclusion is that through George and Lennie , Steinbeck makes us aware of the loneliness and isolation experienced by men who are forced into this way of life in the harsh depression years. Yet loyalty and friendship are unusual. These two men cling together. Despite the almost hopeless economic environment they live in, they are always dreaming of a better life. This is their goal and what keeps them going through the bad times. However Steinbeck, through these characters, proves to us that the reality of their social situation means that their 'American Dream' will never be realised. The two characters are totally different people in many ways yet they are two incomplete halves of one whole one, contented person. Claire O'Hara ...read more.

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