Of Mice and Men was published in February 1937 at the time of economic crisis, at that time John Steinbeck (1902-1968) began to have a relatively stable life after the release of Tortilla Flat (1935). Of Mice and Men tells the friendship and dreams of George and Lennie, two agricultural workers wandering around for a living.
George is a wise man, practical, knowing his strength, knowing what is possible, what is illusory, but he also has trivial hopes that lie, lie to himself, as most of them We all had it. George is a friend and protector of Lennie, a foolish and innocent child, but of extraordinary health. The friendship of George and Lennie contributes to strengthening both of their dreams of a vague future, of the land they will buy to grow, raise pigs or cows, chickens and rabbits, to be collected. plan what they cultivate on their own, to escape from a lifetime to work as hired laborers everywhere. But like “the best attempts of mice and humans,” George and Lennie failed.
Steinbeck written Of Mice and Menin the form of a multi-stage play. Opening each stage is a brief introduction of time and space, with the sunshine and sunset of California hills and mountains, then silence. Then the characters come in, talk and monologue, gradually expressing their personalities as well as adding more about the social context, thereby bringing the episode to the climax, and finally ending with a tragedy. . The final scene returns to the original scene as if closing a life cycle: it is still the afternoon of California, also the pink hills in the sun, the deep blue puddle of the Salinas, with herons, the water snake, willow dust, rows of corn plants, a path, and a pile of ashes of many fires in the past. That scene and that time will witness a simple dream about to come true, but suddenly turn out to be fleeting.
The story takes place in a land called Soledad, “lonely”. The main content of the work is the loneliness of people, the dream of those on the bottom of the social ladder. The dream of having a place for George and Lennie, the dream of harvesting what is made by our own hands and the dream of living peacefully in old age as well as die of Candy, desires to be treated as a man of the black Crooks hunchback, and even the poor dreams of the foolish daughter every time they appear only bring unfortunate disaster to others.
And a common dream, and seemingly trivial, but impossible: dreams of having people talk, sharing joys and sorrows, of George, Lennie, Candy, Crooks and girls Name. Personal names speak to the characters’ characteristics or inner thoughts: Small and Candy and Curley and Slim and Crooks, or a very common name like George, and even anonymous as the only female in the story. . They know what they want, and they often fail, but they will confess to others to be shared. Candy wants to shoot his old dog by himself so that it doesn’t have to be miserable, instead of letting strangers shoot. He confided to George, from then on instilling in him the idea that he must be definitive when it was necessary to make a final decision so that others could not harm his friend. Economic circumstances and social prejudice,
In 1937, in an interview with the New York Times about a play of the same name, which he rewrote on the advice of director George S. Kaufman, Steinbeck said:
“I myself was a vampire for a while. I work in the area where the story happened. The characters are in some ways a combination of many people. Lennie is real. He is now locked in a mental hospital in California. I worked with him for weeks. He did not kill any girls. He killed a mechanic. Exasperated because the boss chased his friend, he stabbed the fork into his stomach. ” 
Steinbeck originally named Something That Happened for the novel, but he changed it to Of Mice and Men after reading the poem “To A Mouse” by Scottish poet, Robert Burns (1759-1796). The verse speaks of a farmer’s regret when his plow breaks a slum. The following is an excerpt from the poem:
But, Mousie, thou art no thy-lane
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!
But little Mouse, you are not alone,
When you show that worry can be illusory:
Because the best calculations of mice and people are
And only leave us with grief,
Instead of joy wait!
Of Mice and Men was rewritten as a screenplay by Steinbeck for his first stage performance in November 1937, after which he performed hundreds of shows and received the New York Drama Critics Award. The work has also been adapted into feature films and TV series several times.
With an intense ending, this medium has been used to teach in high schools in the US, but at one time was classified as a banned book, taken from the library. In the context of the current turmoil everywhere, perhaps Of Mice and Men should be read and replayed to remind us that people often have simple dreams that do not come true, regardless of whether they are poor or rich, rude or complex, in their homeland or wandering in. where. We are all George and Lennie, Candy and Crooks and unnamed daughters almost a century ago. They are still present in the world, on the landfill of civilization and prosperity close to the chaotic chaos at the beginning of this millennium. Are the things that happen to them the same as the illusory, but not impossible, of our mice and humans? Could it be something else that can’t be helped?