Mice and Men

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uppladdat: 2004-05-22
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Since the novel’s in English, I thought this review of it should be also =) Oh, and I should also warn anyone sensitive to certain…erh, grammatical artistry. I just couldn’t help getting swept along in the atmosphere o´tha book (=)
Anyways…
This story’s all ´bout two men, well mostly one of ´em – Lennie. Lennie´s a big… no, HUGE man who travels together with the rather small but witty George. Although Lennie´s probably capable of move a mountain if he felt like it or take on at least ten normal-sized men I n a fistfight, he’s got the mind o´ a child. Therefore, George has taken it upon himself to watch over Lennie and try ta keep´im outta trouble as far as possible witch, by the way, isn’t always very far.

He threw a scoop of water into his face and rubbed it about with his hand, under his chin and around the back of his neck. Then he replaced his hat, pushed himself back from the river, drew up his knees and embraced them. Lennie, who had been watching, imitated George exactly. He pushed himself back, drew up his knees, embraced them, looked over to George to see whether he had it just right. He pulled his hat down a little more over his eyes, the way George’s hat was.
I chose these here lines because they describe the warmth of the book, with these golden moments of childish spirit that appears every now and then. They also very well describe the relationship between George and Lennie, and on top of that I believe it shows how uncomplex and harmless Lennie is. All he wants to do is follow George, have food for the day and have something to pet. Ok, maybe not all that is in these particular lines, but you get the picture.
In the very introduction of the book I get the picture of Lennie as a nice fella, harmless but a bit dumb. All these characteristics add to the contrast later when Lennie gets involved with different conflicts – simply because no one takes him for what he really is. All people see is that he’s big, strong and capable of hurting them.

As said on the backside of the book’s cover Lennie´s worst enemy is his own strength, but also his simpleminded attitude towards the surrounding world. Or is it the world’s suspicious-minded attitude towards Lennie? Maybe a combination of them both, since Lennie is unable to learn from his previous experiences and coop with other people – except maybe George.

I quote:
“Look out, now, you’ll muss it”. And then she cried angrily: “You stop it now, you’ll mess it all up”. She jerked her head sideways, and Lennie´s fingers closed on her hair and hung on. “let go,” she cried. “You let go”.
Lennie was in a panic. His face was contorted. She screamed then, and Lennie´s other hand closed over her mouth and nose. “please don’t,” he begged. “Oh! Please don’t do that. George´ll be mad”.
She struggled violently under his hands. Her feet battered on the hay and she writhed to be free; and from under Lennie’s hand, came a muffled screaming. Lennie began to cry with fright “Oh! Please don’t do that,” he begged. “George gonna say I done a bad thing. He ain’t gonna let me tend the rabbits”. He moved his hand a little and her hoarse cry came out. Then Lennie grew angry. “Now don’t,” he said. “I don’t want you to tell. You gonna get me in trouble jus’ like George says you will. Now don’t you do that”. And she continued to struggle, and her eyes where wild with terror. He shook her then, and he was angry with her. “Don’t you go yellin”, he said, and he shook her; and her body flopped like a fish. And then she was still, for Lennie had broken her neck.
This quote, I think, shows many different and important events.
People around him just don’t get him and they are intimidated by his enormous strength. When all Lennie want to do is feel the softness of a girls dress she thinks he’s groping her, panics and screams thus scarring Lennie so that he just stand there and hold on to the dress in fear and confusion.
No, not many people really get Lennie. George, who has been with Lennie for several years, don’t really get Lennie either. All he knows is that he loves this big stupid baby and jus´ can’t stand the thought o´him all by himself.
George and Lennie live on the hope that one day they will get enough money to buy a little place of their own, they’ve already chosen a nice lil´ place.
Another thing about this quote is that it shows how little Lennie understand of the things going on around him. He doesn’t understand that he’s scarring the girl. He panics not because of fear for being taken as a raper, but out of fear that his little dream about the rabbits might be threatened.

One interesting thing about the language, which you’ve probably already guessed, is that all the dialogues are written kind of sloppy (hey! I’m bein sloppy on purpose so I don’t count!) to describe the unique accent used by them folks up south in America.
Personally, I like this way of writing because it makes the novel less uptight.
The author’s purpose with this novel is, least I think it is, to give place for thought. Seen as just a novel you reed for fun on the way to school its still good reading, but not very fulfilling. It’s short and leaves you with many unanswered questions.
Some thoughts that entered my mind while reading was how something that started out as a fairly easy task; get money, buy house, live happily ever after feeding rabbits could go so wrong.
I think the authors point is to show us that sometimes we’ve worked really hard for something and it just keeps going wrong. I also think that’s why George pulled the trigger; he realised that he and Lennie could never get the life they’d worked so hard for, so he abandoned their dream and shot Lennie so that he wouldn’t get caught by those who hated him.
The book also shows how afraid we are of things we can’t understand.

The deep green pool of the Salinas River was still in the late afternoon. Already the sun had left the valley to go climbing up the slopes of the Gabilan mountains, and the hill-tops were rosy in the sun. but by the pool among the mottled sycamores, a pleasant shade had fallen.
A water-snake glided smoothly up the pool, twisting its periscope head from side to side; and it swam the length of the pool and came to the legs of a motionless heron that stood in the shallows. A silent head and beak lanced down and plucked it out by the head, and the beak swallowed the little snake while its tail waved frantically.
A far rush of wind sounded and a gust drove through the tops of the trees like a wave. The sycamore leaves turned up their silver sides, the brown, dry leaves on the ground scudded a few feet. And row on row of tiny wind-waves flowed up the pools surface.
As quickly as it had come, the wind died, and the clearing was quiet again. The heron stood in the shallows, motionless and waiting. Another little water-snake swam up the pool, turning its periscope head from side to side.
Suddenly Lennie appeared out of the brush, and he came as silently as a creeping bear moves. The heron pounded the air with its wings, jacked itself clear of the water, and flew off down-river. The little snake slid in among the reeds at the pool’s side.
At first when this text met my eye I didn’t understand the dept of it. But after slowly reading it again I understood that ...

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Källhänvisning

Andreas Eriksson [2004-05-22]   Mice and Men
Mimers Brunn [Online]. http://mimersbrunn.se/article?id=2966 [2017-12-15]

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