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of mice and men

of mice and men


Of Mice and Men is a novel written by John Steinbeck. Published in 1937, it narrates the experiences of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers, who move from place to place in California in search of new job opportunities during the Great Depression in the United States.
Steinbeck based the novella on his own experiences working alongside migrant farm workers as a teenager in the 1910s (before the arrival of the Okies that he would describe in The Grapes of Wrath).
While it is a book taught in many schools, Of Mice and Men has been a frequent target of censors for vulgarity, and what some consider offensive and racist language; consequently, it appears on the American Library Association's list of the Most Challenged Books of the 21st Century.


1st chapter

2nd chapter

3rd chapter

4th chapter

5th chapter

6th chapter

chapter 1

Two men, Lennie and George with opposite physiques, wander through a countryside reminiscent of signs of a soothing nature. during this walk, all life seems non-existent. these two men, with their camping equipment on their shoulders, head for a ranch where they think they will be hired as day laborers. The first, marching in front, brown, small but lively, with marked features and a dry physique, is followed by his companion, with a strong build, a physique and bearing which recall familiarly those of a bear. Shapeless face and large pale eyes, Lennie walks behind George like a shadow. we can characterize him as mentally retarded with the mentality of a child, his brute force, is sometimes the cause of death. George has decided to take him under his wing all the same, and despite this behavior constantly putting him on edge, he feels a great protective affection for his companion. George decides to stop and set up camp for the night, not to sleep but to check in with Lennie on explaining to their employers, than to rest. When they arrived, Lennie threw himself on the pond to drink the water, George was not reassured about the drinkability of the water. Lennie kept a dead mouse in his pocket to pet whenever he wanted. during this evening, George insists that they meet there in this same place in case of trouble.

The words i didn't know

  • lumbered

  • sycamores

  • mimicking

  • morosely

  • searchingly

  • bindly

  • cautiously

main theme


adventure friendship nature

chapter 3

One evening after work, Slim and George meet in the common room to talk about Lennie. george begins to let go of a few confidences about their meeting and their friendship. Lennie was wrongly accused of rape in Weed, a town that both had to leave in a hurry to avoid Lennie's lynching. This one, without realizing his great strength, accidentally tore the red dress of a woman and she began to scream. Slim gave Lennie one of the puppies he didn't drown as a gesture of gratitude. While Lennie prefers to spend the night in the stable with the puppies, Carlson leaves at night with Candy's sick old dog, to end his suffering with a single bullet in the back of the neck. Meanwhile, Whit, another day laborer, suggests that George go out one of these evenings to have fun with old Suzy's daughters. It is then that Curley bursts into the workers' room in search of his wife whom he suspects of being with Slim. In a general misunderstanding, Curley tackles Lennie but gets his hand crushed. Squeezing a promise from him not to fire new recruits, Slim sends him to Soledad for treatment.

the words i didn't know

  • peered

  • unwinking

  • squawks

  • pleadingly

  • cripple

  • nodded

main theme


murder, revelation

chapter 2

Arriving at the ranch the next day, George and Lennie take up residence in the common room. They are greeted by an elderly man named Candy, who is a handyman at the ranch, following his hand accident. This one is not very happy. Even before starting any work, the two new workers suffer from the mood swings of the bosses. Lennie's silence is intriguing and George's speaking out on each question addressed to his friend irritates their interlocutors. The attitude of the boss's daughter-in-law, with her outrageously made-up face and her somewhat provocative behavior, as well as the possessive irritability of Curley, her husband, constantly chasing after her, makes the atmosphere even more uneasy. a Boxer named Curley scales and weighs the two new day laborers, and George's concern about a likely retaliation from Lennie is present. He already sees trouble looming on the horizon. Only Slim, the ranch's carter, appreciated in his work, inspires confidence in George. Faced with the ups and downs, Lennie does not feel like staying but they need enough money to build their dream, starting with working on this farm.

the words I didn't know

  • graybacks

  • swamper

  • flapper

  • grizzled

  • nosey

  • stiffened

main theme


work , meeting

chapter 4

The day laborers went out into town to have fun and Lennie while visiting his pup, saw light at Crooks. soon Crooks is aware of the trio's secret project. But Crooks, taking advantage of Lennie's credulity, makes him assumptions about a possible abandonment of George. In his fear, Lennie tries to imagine his life without his mate, but ends up getting angry at Crooks. Curley's wife interrupts the three workmen's discussion and shows her admiration for Lennie for crushing her husband's hand; the black groom, and invites himself there. His tongue loosens and soon Crooks knows about the trio's secret project. But Crooks, taking advantage of Lennie's silliness instills in him suppositions on a possible abandonment of George. In his fright, Lennie tries to imagine his life without his mate, but immediately turns his frustration on the groom. And Candy quickly joins them in this small room in Crooks where for the first time he dares to set foot. The discussion about George's project and the future rabbits is revived between the three workers until Curley's wife comes to interrupt them. Rehashing them on their utopia, a few harsh remarks against Crooks and showing his admiration for Lennie for crushing her husband's hand.

the words I didn't know

  • fawning

  • disarming

  • horseshoes

  • an alphalpha

main theme


abandonment, frustration

chapter 5

Lennie is alone with his dead puppy. He was in no mood to receive Lennie's gestures of affection. George tries to conceal the small body. In need of company, Curley's wife comes to join him and discovers the small corpse. knowing that he likes things soft, she encourages him to stroke her hair. But without doing it on purpose, he goes about it too abruptly for the taste of the lady who began to scream. Lennie asks to shut up and covers her mouth but he ends up killing her by breaking her vertebrae. Panicked, he flees. Candy, coming to get him, discovers with fear the body of the young woman in the hay. george and Candy quickly develops a strategy to announce the drama to the others. Immediately, Curley sets up a group of gunmen to shoot Lennie in the stomach. George is forced to leave with the group to be cleared of all suspicion.

the words I didn't know

  • hollow

  • unburied

  • ostrich

  • tenement

  • ringer

  • muffled

main theme


murder pursuit

chapter 6

Lennie waiting for George to arrive. His mood is contrasted with the peaceful landscape. Lennie started to hallucinates. First, he sees his Aunt Clara, who has been dead for years. Then he sees a giant rabbit appears before Lennie's eyes, telling him that George is going to be mad at him. Finally, George emerges and comforts Lennie. George tells Lennie that what he has done doesn't matter and that they can still follow their dream. George hears the sound of men. He has Lennie look across the river so he can almost see it and once again George describes the little farm that they will someday own. As he describes the farm, George takes Carlson's gun out of his jacket. He tells Lennie that he's not mad and that they're going to go to that farm really soon, and then he shoots Lennie right in the back of the head. Lennie dies, like Candy's dog.The men come up and see Lennie lying dead on the ground. Slim understands what George did because he knows about their history together, but the other men want to know what happened. George lies and says that Lennie shot him in self defense. George finally realizes that the loss of his best friend also means the loss of his dream. He will have to live with knowing he killed Lennie for the rest of his life.

the words I didn't know

  • motionless

  • scudded

  • moaned

  • sonofabitching

  • sewer

  • frantically

Main theme


love death lie



chapter 1

chapter 2

chapter 3

chapter 4

chapter 5

chapter 6

lennie is a bully behaving like a child

George is mature

their physique are completly opposite

Candy is rather grumpy

Slim looks trustworthy

Curley does not appreciate the presence of the two new

mean and embittered

Lennie's strength causes him many problems

Lennie is affectionate with dogs

george and Lennie are dreamer

Crooks is a profiteer

Lennie is influencable

George and Candice are complicit

Carley wants to kill Lennie

George is anxious

Lennie wanted to follow their dream

Lennie is dead and George had to lie

works that remind me of this novel

1. "La Clairière" of Auguste Renoir


2. forest sound

3. "Call me by your name"

4. "walking dead"


5. a piece at the carnavalet museum, Paris

6. lanscape

7. à l'écurie et chien Edgar Degas




8. Jasper's death scene in the 100





this oil painting on canvas dating from 1865 by Auguste Renoir, reminds me of the novel by its scenery which is filled with greenery and the presence of no being, as the landscape is described to us at the beginning of the novel.

This peaceful sound of nature describes well what I imagined when we are told that they have the impression of being the only humans in the middle of nature without any human noise.

this film has so many points in commun with the novel, like two guy spend time together, they love each other and even the characters looks like the presentation physique of George and Lennie

I think that the ranch in the novel looks exactly like the one of the walking dead.

the styles of the furniture, the dark and light colors at the same time reminds me of the old days, and therefore that of the novel. moreover the green color filling all the walls makes me think of nature

this place looks peaceful and there is a moment on the novel where we know
that the two protagonists meet at a place when they are bored and in my opinion it is the perfect place.

What I find similar with this scene is that in both cases the public/readers were not ready for this death, moreover we still find the decor of nature

This oil painting representing a dog next to a horse makes me strangely think of the puppy who died in a very similar place.

Questions that I asked myself

1/ Will George be able to live without Lennie?

2/ Will Georges be unmasked on his complicity with Lennie?

3/ Will George pursue his dream?

4/ The novel is entitled "of mice and men"?

Quotes that appeal to me


"Ever'body gonna be nice to you. Ain't gonna be no more trouble. Nobody gonna hurt nobody nor steal from 'em."

"'God, you're a lot of trouble,' said George. 'I could get along so easy and so nice if I didn't have you on my tail. I could live so easy and maybe have a girl.'"

"We gonna work on a ranch, George."

"Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no fambly. They don't belong no place."

"I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that's why."

"As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment."