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Analysis

Literary Devices in Of Mice and Men

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

While Of Mice and Men occurs in a very specific time and place, each of the characters can be thought of as symbolizing broader populations. Though the book is not an allegory, and each character c...

Setting

This is no sprawling, Dickensian novel with multiple plots and characters moving all over London. The setting is almost as small and confined as the plot; it occurs over a period of three days in f...

Narrator Point of View

We've got a third person narrator here, and he's pretty omniscient. He even starts with a look at the scenery, saying "A few miles south of the Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hill...

Genre

The dog and the "dum-dum" die: yep, we'll go ahead and slap a "tragic" label on this. Or we could get more official: tragedy usually features some main character who experiences a reversal of fortu...

Tone

Steinbeck is sympathetic toward his characters, but he's not going to invent a happy ending for them. Instead, he contrasts the real world of poverty, limited resources, limiting social roles, huma...

Writing Style

Steinbeck's writing style mirrors his characters. Of course the author writes as the men would literally speak, but on a deeper level, the language of the book is simple but compelling—just like...

What’s Up With the Title?

John Steinbeck takes the title of this novel from the poem "To a Mouse [on turning her up in her nest with the plough]," written by Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1785. In the poem, the speaker has...

Tough-o-Meter

Steinbeck doesn't expect you to scale any mountains here. Sure, the dialect can be a bit tricky, but once you get used to the dropped word endings, it's pretty easy reading. Mostly, we're dealing w...

Plot Analysis

Road Trip!When Of Mice and Men opens, we meet two guys just coming off a road trip to Salinas, California, where they've picked up some work: Lennie and George. They have an exactly-opposite-of-uni...

Booker’s Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Tragedy

Lennie and George want to work on the ranch in the hopes of making enough money to buy their own farm, where they can be independent and in charge of their own destiny (and rabbits).Maybe with this...

Three Act Plot Analysis

It Could Be BunniesLennie and George plan to get a job on a ranch near Soledad, California where they can earn some money to realize their shared dream: their own little place, where George can hav...

Trivia

Warner Brothers did a take on Of Mice and Men in 1961, flipping the script with their famous rabbit. Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck accidentally find "Hugo the Abominable Snowman" who takes a shine to o...

Steaminess Rating

Of Mice and Men might as well be required reading in an abstinence-only sex education class for the way it presents sex as frightening, a little gross, and a lot deadly—whether you have it with C...

Allusions

Murray and Ready's: a Depression-era employment agency (1.21) Pulp magazines (3.65)
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