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Of Mice and Men by Nick Wend

AP-Brown-3 AP English prezi for Of Mice and Men
by

Nick Wend

on 2 May 2011

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Transcript of Of Mice and Men by Nick Wend

Summary Two labor workers, George Milton and Lennie Smalls, travel to a new town to get jobs at the ranch. George often tells Lennie of what their life could be like someday when they save up enough money to get land of their own and Lennie truely believes in this idea and thinks that if he does bad things it will not happen as he wants it to (he won't get to take care of the rabbits on their farm). The issue is that, despite Lennie's massive size and ability to work, he's mentally disabled, something that leads him and George, his traveling companion, into a lot of trouble. In particular, Lennie likes to pet things that feel soft, such as mice, but due to his incredible strength and his lack of ability to control it and reason properly he often accidentally kills or injures the animals that he pets. Due to Lennie's size and nature, some of the men on the ranch have problems with him and he accidentally crushes the hand of the boss's son, Curley. He also accidentally kills a puppy that he was given. While trying to figure out how to deal with that mistake, Curley's wife talks to Lennie (who had been instructed not to talk to her) and encourages him to touch her hair. He does, but doesn't want to let go, she struggles, he panics, and her neck is accidentally broken in the struggle, killing the woman. Lennie knows this is bad and goes to hide in a place George had previously told him to go to if he did anything wrong; the men on the ranch set out to get revenge on Lennie and George finds Lennie where he'd told him to go and puts him out of his misery before the other men can get to them. There's really more that should be said than that, but seeing as there's supposed to be a 100 word limit on the summary and I believe I already exceeded that by quite a bit, that will have to do. The Author: John Steinbeck Lived 1902-1968
Born in Salinas, California
Worked through Stanford University
Didn't graduate
Went to New York in 1925
Returned to California when he failed to establish himself as a freelance author
First widely known for "Tortilla Flat" (1935)
Most novels are social commentaries about problems with rural labor
Published Of Mice and Men in 1937
Best known for "The Grapes of Wrath" (1939) Influences The Great Depression Personal Experiences "Of Mice and Men was published in 1937, a time when much of America was still feeling the strain of the Great Depression. As the main characters of the book are primarily itinerant ranch workers--essentially homeless who traveled from place to place doing work that needed doing on farms--many Americans could connect to the poor conditions that the men faced and the need for something to hope for that the main characters find in George's dream of a farm where they would be able to make their own way and decide their own work. I "I was a bindlestiff myself for quite a spell. I worked in the same country that the story is laid in. The characters are composites to a certain extent. Lennie was a real person. He's in an insane asylum in California right now. I worked alongside him for many weeks. He didn't kill a girl. He killed a ranch foreman. Got sore because the boss had fired his pal and stuck a pitchfork right through his stomach. I hate to tell you how many times. I saw him do it. We couldn't stop him until it was too late."
(from an interview with the New York Times in 1937)

In explanation, "bindlestiff" is a term for the itinerant farm workers that the main characters are. Critical Analysis The American Dream--Potential, Optimism, and Earning Your Way Lennie, Candy (an old swamper on the ranch they go to to work), and, though he doesn't wish to admit it so readily, George, cling to the dream of making a story that George tells (multiple times throughout the story, at Lennie's prodding) come true
The story is of how they will save up a "stake" and get some farmland of their own and "live on the fatta the lan'," a very optimistic and idealistic idea for them to work towards
At the end of the story Candy and George realize that the story will be virtually impossible for them to attain, leaving it as a dream
That said, the story is essentially a literal American Dream--it could potentially happen, but only if everything went well (therefore, unrealistically optimistic), and with a lot of hard work (earning their way)
The three would need to work hard and save diligently to be able to achieve their goals
The hope and optimism provided by this story seems to be what smoothes over relationships between Lennie and George when George is feeling particularly frustrated
May be essentially the only thing holding Lennie together--his hope to someday take care of the rabbits in their version of the American Dream is like a driving force in everything he does Works Cited "John Steinbeck - Biography". Nobelprize.org. 2 May 2011 http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1962/steinbeck-bio.html

Parini, Jay. "FILM; Of Bindlestiffs, Bad Times, Mice and Men." New York Times (1992): 3-4. Web. 2 May 2011. <http://www.nytimes.com/1992/09/27/movies/film-of-bindlestiffs-bad-times-mice-and-men.html?src=pm>.

Images from Google Images. I'm not really sure what to do with that. ;-;
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