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Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck
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About This Book

Over seventy-five years since its first publication, Steinbeck's tale of commitment, loneliness, hope, and loss remains one of America's most widely read and taught novels. An unlikely pair, George and Lennie, two migrant workers in California during the Great Depression, grasp for their American Dream. They hustle work when they can, living a hand-to-mouth existence. For George and Lennie have a plan: to own an acre of land and a shack they can call their own. When they land jobs on a ranch in the Salinas Valley, the fulfillment of their dream seems to be within their grasp. But even George cannot guard Lennie from the provocations, nor predict the consequences of Lennie's unswerving obedience to the things George taught him.
Of Mice and Men represents an experiment in form, which Steinbeck described as "a kind of playable novel, written in a novel form but so scened and set that it can be played as it stands." A rarity in American letters, it achieved remarkable success as a novel, a Broadway play, and three acclaimed films. This edition features an introduction by Susan Shillinglaw, one of today's leading Steinbeck scholars.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


Angela H.


The Unobtainable American Dream

In John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, the idea of the American Dream becomes apparent, yet unobtainable. Set during the Great Depression, George and Lennie find themselves at a farm working for low wages and long days. Even though Lennie has a kind soul and does not mean harm, his mental disability prevents him from acting normally, as he ends up harming those around him. Throughout the book, Lenny and George fantasize about the thought about owning their own farm and having a couple of rabbits. However, when Lennie harms those on the farm, it becomes apparent that George was unable to take care of Lennie and he was getting too strong to control. Even though the book talked about the challenges that disabled people have to face, it becomes apparent that the themes of the failed American dream and isolation take over the book.

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