Of Mice and Men
''Of Mice and Men'' with Malkovich at Steppenwolf in under the direction of Terry Kinney. He became interested in the film version after finishing his . I didn` t have to worry about developing a relationship with John off. In John Steinbeck's novel “Of Mice and Men,” made into an for the whole relationship between George and Lennie -- the quiet-spoken farm. Of Mice and Men is a novella written by author John Steinbeck. Published in , it tells the When the other ranch hands find the corpse, George realizes that their dream is at an end. George .. Another theatrical film version was made in , directed by Gary Sinise, who was nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes.
By listening to George in the ranch house, Slim allows him to reveal a great deal about his relations with Lennie, and to describe incidents from their past.
He shows the other ranch-hands a letter in a magazine, written by a worker he had known on the ranch previously. He relishes the memory of this man Bill Tenner and shows his own loneliness, and longing for friendship; yet even as he shows the magazine to George, he will not let go of the page. Back to top Candy Far more important is a trio of misfits or outsiders: Candy is an old man, reduced to cleaning the bunkhouse after losing his hand in an accident at work.
He has been compensated by his employer and has saved the money, which he offers to give to George, in return for a share in his and Lennie's dream. George is happy to agree to this, but is not interested in buying the smallholding with Candy alone, after Lennie has killed Curley's wife.
His lack of status appears when he is powerless to save his old dog from being shot. He bitterly and unfairly reproaches Curley's wife for the loss of his dream. Back to top Crooks Crooks is also disabled and a Negro, unusual at this time in California.
He is excluded by his colour from the bunkhouse he is allowed in at Christmas, but has to fight one of the men, it seems. Crooks protects his feelings by keeping to himself. When Candy tells him of the dream ranch, he offers to work for nothing. But Curley's wife reminds him that he has no hope of sharing the dream, and he pretends the offer was made as a joke. But it seems clear that he means it when he says it. Back to top Curley's wife Curley's wife is the most pathetic of the outsiders: She still dreams of what might have been, seeing herself as a potential film-star.
But she has no acting talent, men one from a travelling show, one who claimed to be in the movies make bogus offers as a chat-up line, and now that films require actresses to talk, her coarse speech would be a handicap. Desperate for companionship she does not find at home, she flirts with the ranch-hands.
They are uneasy about this, as they think her to be seriously promiscuous, and are fearful of Curley's reaction. She is, perhaps, the most pathetic of all the characters. Curley Curley, her husband, is a rather two-dimensional villain. Conscious of his own failings, he tries to earn respect by picking fights, but is vain, boastful and aggressive. He suspects everyone of laughing at him. His wife's behaviour ensures that they do laugh, even Candy.
He is outwardly friendly, but essentially selfish. He finds the smell of an old dog offensive so the dog must be shot.
He has little regard for the feelings of the dog's owner. All the characters, save George and Lennie, are more or less in search of a relationship. We see how far their failure to find friendship or company, even, is due to general attitudes, to their circumstances, and to themselves. Back to top Themes The themes of this novella are very clear: The other themes are friendship, and its opposite, loneliness. The fagility of dreams The novella's title comes from a poem, To a Mouse on turning her up in her nest with the plough by the Scots poet Robert Burns And leave us naught but grief and pain For promised joy.
The source of the characters' dreams is their discontent with their present. Steinbeck shows how poor their lifestyle is: Back to top George's and Lennie's dream is at first a whim, but becomes clearer. The unexpected opportunity offered by Candy's money means it is no longer a fantasy, but the threat to the fulfilment of this dream, ever-present in Lennie's behaviour finally destroys it, just as it has become possible.
Candy and Crooks both try to share in this dream.
Of Mice and Men - Wikipedia
Candy is desperate and, so, ready to trust his fortune to a near stranger. Crooks is most cynical about the dream of owning land: Yet even he, recalling happy times in his childhood, hopes, briefly, for a share in George's and Lennie's dream. Back to top Curley's wife indulges a different fantasy, far less likely of fulfilment. As many young women do, she aspires to stardom in films.
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The end of the novella seems to confirm Crooks's pessimistic view. None of the characters does achieve his or her dream. But this seems more due to a lack of opportunity and the way society is organized, than to anything else.
Back to top Loneliness and friendship To the people on the ranch, even the broad-minded Slim, George's and Lennie's partnership is very unusual.
It is clear that most of them are lonely. Some, like Whit, feel the loneliness and remember wished-for friends with affection.
Others learn to be self-sufficient emotionally, or just plain selfish. Crooks insists on his right to be alone even though he dislikes it, while Carlson seems incapable of actually sympathizing with anyone else's viewpoint. Curley can only communicate through aggression. Slim enjoys respect and a friendly manner, if not actual friendship, from the others on the ranch. He is welcoming and sympathetic to George and Lennie, and forces Carlson to consider Candy's feelings: Back to top Crooks astutely notes that Lennie cannot remember what he is saying, but points out that most people in conversation do this, that being with another is what counts; and so he talks freely to Lennie, who has the same effect on Curley's wife.
She cannot speak to her husband but pours out her troubles to Lennie. It is ironic that the retarded man should be taken into the confidence of these supposedly normal characters.
And the detailed references to the two brothels in Soledad remind us both of the lack of opportunity for the ranch-hands to have a lasting sexual relationship, and the absence of opportunities for women to work in respectable jobs. The author's technique Structure Steinbeck's narrative method is unremarkable but effective in a simple way; for this reason it is not an obvious subject for study.
The structure of the novella is clear and quite simple: Some things happen while others, which have happened, are re-told George tells Slim about Weed; Whit tells the hands about Bill Tenner's letter; Curley's wife tells Lennie about her past.
Back to top Time and place Steinbeck controls time and place very skilfully. Though he recalls events from earlier, what he narrates directly takes place over a single weekend.
The narrative is framed by the opening and closing chapters, which are set in a beautiful clearing by a stream, close to the ranch. All the other chapters are set on the ranch, inside: The text is very short, and yet a great proportion is taken up with dialogue, in the form of direct speech. It is not surprising to discover that Steinbeck himself did write a dramatization for the stage, and that this has subsequently been made into two very successful feature films.
However, her spiteful side is shown when she belittles them and threatens Crooks to have him lynched. The next day, Lennie accidentally kills his puppy while stroking it. Curley's wife enters the barn and tries to speak to Lennie, admitting that she is lonely and how her dreams of becoming a movie star are crushed, revealing her personality. After finding out about Lennie's habit, she offers to let him stroke her hair, but panics and begins to scream when she feels his strength.
Lennie becomes frightened, and unintentionally breaks her neck thereafter and runs away. When the other ranch hands find the corpse, George realizes that their dream is at an end. George hurries to find Lennie, hoping he will be at the meeting place they designated in case he got into trouble. George meets Lennie at the place, their camping spot before they came to the ranch. The two sit together and George retells the beloved story of the dream, knowing it is something they'll never share.
He then shoots and kills Lennie, with Curley, Slim, and Carlson arriving seconds after. Only Slim realizes what happened, and consolingly leads him away.
Curley and Carlson look on, unable to comprehend the subdued mood of the two men. Characters I was a bindlestiff myself for quite a spell. I worked in the same country that the story is laid in.
The characters are composites to a certain extent. Lennie was a real person. He's in an insane asylum in California right now. I worked alongside him for many weeks. He didn't kill a girl.
He killed a ranch foreman. Got sore because the boss had fired his pal and stuck a pitchfork right through his stomach. I hate to tell you how many times I saw him do it.
We couldn't stop him until it was too late. A quick-witted man who is Lennie's guardian and best friend. His friendship with Lennie helps sustain his dream of a better future. He was bound in teasing Lennie since he was young. He is described by Steinbeck in the novel as "small and quick," every part of him being "defined," with small strong hands on slender arms. He has a dark face and "restless eyes" and "sharp, strong features" including a "thin, bony nose.
A mentally disabledbut gigantic and physically strong man who travels with George and is his constant companion. His love for soft things conspires against him, mostly because he does not know his own strength, and eventually becomes his undoing.
Steinbeck defines his appearance as George's "opposite," writing that he is a "huge man, shapeless of face, with large, pale eyes" and "wide, sloping shoulders. An aging ranch handyman, Candy lost his hand in an accident and worries about his future on the ranch.
A "jerkline skinner," the main driver of a mule team and the "prince of the ranch". Slim is greatly respected by many of the characters and is the only character whom Curley treats with respect. His insight, intuition, kindness and natural authority draw the other ranch hands automatically towards him, and he is significantly the only character to fully understand the bond between George and Lennie. The Boss' son, a young, pugnacious character, once a semi-professional boxer. He is described by others, with some irony, as "handy", partly because he likes to keep a glove filled with vaseline on his left hand.
He is very jealous and protective of his wife and immediately develops a dislike toward Lennie. At one point, Curley loses his temper after he sees Lennie appear to laugh at him, and ends up with his hand horribly damaged after Lennie fights back against him.
A young, pretty woman, who is mistrusted by her husband.
The other characters refer to her only as "Curley's wife". Steinbeck explained that she is "not a person, she's a symbol. She allows Lennie to stroke her hair as an apparently harmless indulgence, only for her to upset Lennie when she yells at him to stop him 'mussing it'.
Lennie tries to stop her yelling and eventually, and accidentally, kills her by breaking her neck. Crooks, the black stable-hand, gets his name from his crooked back. Proud, bitter, and cynical, he is isolated from the other men because of the color of his skin. Despite himself, Crooks becomes fond of Lennie, and though he claims to have seen countless men following empty dreams of buying their own land, he asks Lennie if he can go with them and hoe in the garden. A blind dog who is described as "old", "stinky", and "crippled", and is killed by Carlson.
A "thick bodied" ranch hand, he kills Candy's dog with little sympathy. Curley's father, the superintendent of the ranch. The ranch is owned by "a big land company" according to Candy. A young ranch hand.