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“I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that's why.”

 

They are an unlikely pair: George is "small and quick and dark of face"; Lennie, a man of tremendous size, has the mind of a young child. Yet they have formed a "family," clinging together in the face of loneliness and alienation. Laborers in California's dusty vegetable fields, they hustle work when they can, living a hand-to-mouth existence. But George and Lennie have a plan: to own an acre of land and a shack they can call their own.

 

While the powerlessness of the laboring class is a recurring theme in Steinbeck's work of the late 1930s, he narrowed his focus when composing Of Mice and Men, creating an intimate portrait of two men facing a world marked by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness. But though the scope is narrow, the theme is universal: a friendship and a shared dream that makes an individual's existence meaningful.

 

A unique perspective on life's hardships, this story has achieved the status of timeless classic due to its remarkable success as a novel, a Broadway play, and three acclaimed films.

Of Mice and Men

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