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.
This book is only 200 or so pages so it can be finished in a day and if you can I recommend it highly. Steinbeck’s portrayal of a mentally disabled individual is so important. I do not believe I have ever seen a mentally challenged person in a book. The relationship between Lennie and George is so important. At this time period, two men travelling together is weird but because George is so loyal to Lennie he tries to keep him close to him. A great lesson to take from this is that not getting angry with people with disabilities and being patient and soothing them is preferred. As much as I would love to talk about the ending and how I feel about it, that is spoilers technically.
The characters are static except for George. Nothing really changes which is slightly disappointing, but the showing of a mentally challenged individual makes up for it.
I think I’ll mention some of the symbols because it is a school book and some people may need some of these. There is major foreshadowing when they meet Candy and his dog that you should pay attention to. Crooks is an African American worker that is discriminated against because of his race. He is there entirely to stand for racial injustice. He does all the work the others do but he is not allowed to join in games or to live in the bunks with the others. Curley’s wife is another character that is really interesting. She is never given a name because Steinbeck didn’t want to make her pitiable. She is portrayed mainly as a whore and a tease. Until the end, but as mentioned she was never intended to be pitied, when we hear about her dreams and how she is so lonely.
Slim is really cool too. He actually attempts to understand Lennie and he helps George with him. He’s a father figure almost. Slim’s great; learn to love him, seriously.
I recommend everyone to read this when you get the chance. I really enjoyed it and its an American classic.