Of Mice and Men Essay

Critical Context Evaluation Of Mice and Men Essay

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John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is one of the most widely recognized modern stories of its time because of the major issues it raises in its context. The book has been appreciated for its use of foreshadowing and recurrent images by both old and young alike. Steinbeck’s skill as he intertwines the underlying themes of loneliness and friendship is evident as he gives each of his characters a certain amount of dignity (especially Lennie and Crooks). His writing directs our attention to a group of drifters as they go through a period of isolation that may appear to be quite insurmountable at times.

By putting a group of seemingly inferior individuals up against a series of situations that they believe impossible to overcome or in some cases, to even understand, the story raises some very important issues that we all face. This method explores how life’s circumstances can have a major impact on whether or not it’s possible for any of us to realize our dreams.

Steinbeck’s Goal

Ironically, this was not his original goal when he began writing Of Mice and Men. His original intent was actually to write a children’s book that would demonstrate that events can often take on their own momentum without the need of a higher power exacting punishment for our actions.(1) This is possibly the reason he choose to retitle the book based on Robert Burn’s poem, “To a Mouse,” a line of which “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley,” has become one of the most quoted lines in literature today.

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