Book Reviews, Review

The Truths About, “Of Mice and Men,” by John Steinbeck

This is a book report I did a while ago about the “truths” about the book Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

We all know from experience that the truth can hurt. Steinbeck’s book, Of Mice and Men, brings out some of the “truths” about life and people in a very complex, brusque, and in-depth way. His work in Of Mice and Men doesn’t just tell a story; it is an allegory that represents many aspects of human life. In my opinion, the truths that Steinbeck tells of are pointed towards the human condition in general, and not specifically about the problems in America.

             One of the major truths about the human condition that is told in Of Mice and Men is people’s want to conquer loneliness, and the many ways they try to have company. Curley’s wife is a great example of this truth-she sort of represents how far a person can go to gain companionship. She married Curley because she knew it’s either him or nobody (and she felt that he’s better than no one), she dressed the way she did to attract men so she can talk to them, and (even though she didn’t know it) she risked her life just have a conversation with someone. It represents human condition because we all feel lonely at times, and we all try to gain friends because we don’t wish to stand alone.

            Another truth that Steinbeck indicates in his book is abuse. Crooks, the African American stable buck, worked his head off and received little to nothing, and got abused both physically and emotionally throughout his life. Crooks’ abuse represents two things: the unfairness and unluckiness we receive and the prejudice we give other people. Crooks experienced most of his pain and prejudice because of the color of his skin. We, like him, are hurt and insulted throughout our life. We can’t avoid it; it’s inevitable. We might feel hurt, helpless and lonely, just like how Crooks felt. However, his abuse doesn’t just represent our pain, it also represents the pain we give other people. Whether or not we admit it, we have probably hurt, gotten mad, held a grudge, or yelled at a person before. We can sometimes be like Curley or the other prejudice white people in the book, acting mean towards someone or being prejudice because of how they look or do something.

            Despite the fact that there are a lot of painful truths in Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men, deep down beneath all that negativity is a positive “truth”: friendship. George and Lennie had a friendship that reminded me of many things; a master and his dog, a parent and his child, and a big brother and his little brother. Lennie was completely dependent on and faithful to George, and while George seemed to dislike Lennie, George still loved him like family. I think their friendship represents each and every one of our relationships; complicated and different each day, but still worth having. It’s always hard and heart-wrenching when we are forced to end a friendship, like what George had to do with Lennie, but sometimes it is for the best. In conclusion, George and Lennie’s friendship represents the perplexity of all of our many relationships.

            In my opinion, it is hard to say whether the truths in Of Mice and Men show America in a favorable or unfavorable light. I think that most people would probably say that Of Mice and Men portrays America unfavorably, but then again, there are some things that are positive in the book. I guess I can call Of Mice and Men a (mostly bitter) bittersweet reminiscence of how people were back then and of the Great Depression, and a (mostly bitter) bittersweet allegory for how people feel and act now.

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