Abstract: When Of Mice and Men is read between the lines, it is easy to discover Steinbeck’s objective. Men are destined to be alone, despite their hardships, despite their connections. In order to establish these ideas Steinbeck develops his characters, the relationships they share, and their interactions. Of Mice and Men is considered a classic novel for a reason. Steinbeck does an excellent job of establishing powerful themes while using unparalleled writing techniques. Steinbeck was able to take his upbringing as the common man and turn it into inspiration for novels.
At the mention of the name, “John Steinbeck,” many associations can be made to the classic works produced by the man. However, he did not begin his life as a successful writer. Growing up in Salinas, California, Steinbeck lived the life of a common man, working to survive in the Land of Promise. He began to develop a taste for writing; however, he studied marine biology while he attended Stanford University. Without graduating with a degree, Steinbeck began working as a laborer and reporter for the American in New York City. After realizing that he was not meeting his goals, or at least coming close to them, Steinbeck moved back to California where he continued to work in various odd jobs while he pursuing his career as a professional writer. In the early 1930’s Steinbeck met Edwards Ricketts, a marine biologist who later became a major influence on his works. Steinbeck enjoyed listening to Ricketts’s views on the interdependence of life. Steinbeck became intrigued by these concepts and began applying these themes to all of his developing works. His first two publications were undeveloped and deemed failures, but with the production of Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck was introduced to the world of literary acceptance.
Of Mice and Men is considered an American classic that is taught by almost every high school and featured on most “must read” booklists. The reason for such appraise can be found in the themes lying within the book. Steinbeck establishes the concepts of man’s destiny by developing his characters, the relationships they share, and their interactions and using them to reinforce underlying themes. The relationship between Lennie and George opens many types of interpretation for critics of the novel. Some wonder whether George cares for Lennie and a person, or maybe George only feels obligated to watch over him. Is it a matter of George’s sincerity, or does Steinbeck want to reinforce the idea that humans would naturally want to be alone?
Of Mice and Men tells the story of two men who depend on each other to survive. Their relationship resembles one that would be found between two brothers where one, George, is looking out for the other, Lennie. This relationship can be illustrated through out the novel. When the boss asked Lennie what he was capable of doing, George replied for him with, “He can do anything you tell him…he can do anything. Just give him a...