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John Steinbeck's Classic Novel "Of Mice And Men".

1203 words - 5 pages

Who doesn't know of John Steinbeck's classic novel "Of Mice and Men"? Itis a novel that almost everyone educated in the United States has eitherread it or pretended to read it. But how many have seen the 1992 film "OfMice and Men"? The relative obscurity of 1992 screen version of thistimeless drama does not mean that it was poorly done. Just the contraryis true, it is one of the best film adaptations of a novel that I haveseen. The novel and the film are very similar. The Steinbeck's novelcould be though of as the screenplay's first draft. There were some smallchanges, but they were instituted for the good of the film. I liked thefilm better than Steinbeck's novel. "Of Mice and Men" is a story ofpeople who express their troubles clearly, holding on to thin dreams asthey go about their thankless business. The novel, set in the 1930s, is astory of friendship of migrant workers George Milton and Lennie Smalls.The pair travels from ranch to ranch, dreaming of someday making enoughmoney so they can buy their own plot of land and a stake in their future.George is a father figure and protector of the strong simple-mindedLennie. Lennie's strength is his gift and his curse. Like the child heis mentally, he loves animals, but he inadvertently crushes them to death.Women, to him, are rather like animals, -- soft, small, and gentle. Andthere lies the tension that powers this narrative to its tragicconclusion. The film version and the novel are very similar. There isminimal description in the novel, enough to set the scene, and the rest isdialogue. The film's story is very pure and lean as Steinbeck's original.Producer/director Gary Sinise and screenwriter Horton Foote don't try doanything fancy, they don't try to make it anything other than exactly whatit is, a timeless simple story. Sinise and Foote make AmericanLiterature teachers everywhere proud; they have left the film's storyuncluttered. Everything is very clear, and makes sense within itscontext. They remembered "Of Mice and Men is a classic for a reason,and if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The screenplay and the novel arenot synonymous but they are very close to being that way. Sinise andFoote held very true in their adaptation. All of the changes made wereminor and to nothing to detract from the narrative. There were many morescenes in the film than the novel. It is believable to think the novelwas originally a play and then was adapted into book form because thereare only four different scenes in the entire novel. Chapter one is set atthe Salinas River, chapter two and three are in the bunkhouse, chapterfour in Crook's room, chapter five is in the barn, and chapter six is atthe river again. Scenes had to be added to the film to keep the audiencefrom getting bored. Dialogue was deleted to help move the story along.The only way we get background information about George and Lennie in thenovel is through their dialogue. There was less dialogue in the filmbecause the audience can learn the background...

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