Of Mice and Men

by John Steinbeck
112 pages, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Sir Arieh

Good concept, poorly executed.


George Milton and his mentally challenged companion Lennie Small are in search of a job during the Great Depression. They find one on a small ranch. There they encounter several characters each with their own flaws. The innocent Lennie tells them about their dream of one day owning a farm, in which he will tend the rabbits. Yet the good times will not last forever, and George realizes the best way to care for something is to let it go.


There is a simplified view of morality in the book, the sort that puts people on certain levels of goodness and badness. None of the characters can really be called good in the Christian sense of the word.

Spiritual Content

None of the characters really seem to have a sense of God or anything spiritual.


The shooting of a dog is implied. There is a very graphic fight scene midway through the book in which a character's hand is broken. At the end of the story, a character is shot through the back of the head.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Alcohol is mentioned in the book although I do not recall any being consumed. The characters do smoke.

Sexual Content

A character's wife lightly tries to seduce Lennie thought the book. Also, there are faint sexual references here and there. This is by far the least of the books problems.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

This is one of the low points of the book. I found there to be far too much swearing in the book. Typical curse words and harsh terms of insult are scattered throughout the text.


I feel that this book does not live up to its reputation of an American classic. I found it too hard to get past the characters' foul language to truly enjoy the author's genius in the area of symbolism. So if you don't mind digging through a good deal of dirt to find some gems then I would recommend it, if not then this is certainly not the book for you. Also there is not enough character development to really make it an enjoyable read.

Fun Score: 3.5
Values Score: 3
Written for Age: adult

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