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English: Of Mice and Men

About the book

The compelling story of two outsiders striving to find their place in an unforgiving world. Drifters in search of work, George and his simple-minded friend Lennie have nothing in the world except each other and a dream--a dream that one day they will have some land of their own. Eventually they find work on a ranch in California’s Salinas Valley, but their hopes are doomed as Lennie, struggling against extreme cruelty, misunderstanding and feelings of jealousy, becomes a victim of his own strength. Tackling universal themes such as the friendship of a shared vision, and giving voice to America’s lonely and dispossessed, Of Mice and Men has proved one of Steinbeck’s most popular works, achieving success as a novel, a Broadway play and three acclaimed films.

About the author

(1902–68). Winner of the 1962 Nobel prize for literature, the American author John Steinbeck is best remembered for his novel The Grapes of Wrath. Steinbeck’s story of a family of farm workers migrating from Oklahoma to California describes the hopelessness of the Great Depression era.

John Ernst Steinbeck was born on Feb. 27, 1902, in Salinas, Calif. He took classes at Stanford University for several years but left without a degree. He worked as a laborer to support himself while he wrote. Steinbeck’s first novel was published in 1929, but it was not until the publication of Tortilla Flat in 1935 that he attained critical and popular acclaim.

He followed this success with In Dubious Battle (1936) and Of Mice and Men(1937). The Grapes of Wrath (1939) earned for Steinbeck a Pulitzer prize. In these works Steinbeck’s proletarian themes are expressed through his portrayal of the inarticulate, dispossessed laborers who populate his American landscape. Both Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath were made into motion pictures.

In 1943 Steinbeck traveled to North Africa and Italy as a war correspondent. Some of his later works include Cannery Row (1945), The Pearl (1947), East of Eden(1952), The Winter of Our Discontent (1961), and Travels with Charley (1962). He also wrote several motion-picture scripts, including adaptations of two of his shorter works—The Pearl and The Red Pony. Steinbeck died in New York City on Dec. 20, 1968.

Encyclopedia Britannica - John Steinbeck

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Of Mice and Men 

Category: English

This series of four clips explores the context, characters, themes and writing style of Steinbeck's popular classic. Presenter led and supported by dramatised sequences and direct quotations from the novel. Of Mice and Men: Context and Background Understanding John Steinbeck's influences and life experiences as well as the economic and social landscape of America in the 1930s will help readers to better understand the events and themes in Of Mice and Men. This clip sets the scene for the novel by providing a brief overview of the causes and impact of the Great Depression, and how it shaped Steinbeck's values and writing. Ideal for introducing the novel prior to reading. Of Mice and Men: George, Lennie and Curley's Wife This analysis provides insight into characters George, Lennie and Curley's wife, how they are shaped by their circumstances and environment and how this influences their choices. It identifies their key traits and flaws, hopes and dreams, and the role each plays in the tragic unfolding of the plot. Examples of language choices used to reveal each character are given. This is a clear and easy to follow examination of characterisation in Of Mice and MenOf Mice and Men: Strength and Weakness In Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck provides readers with a multi-layered, thought provoking examination of strength and weakness. Physical, intellectual and emotional strengths and weaknesses are central to plot and character development throughout the novel. This clip looks specifically at how this theme is conveyed through the characters and interactions of George, Lenny, Curley, Curley's wife, Crooks and Slim. Of Mice and Men: Steinbeck's Writing Style Steinbeck is renowned for his unique literary style and ability to portray characters with authenticity and poignancy. This clip explores his use of poetic imagery, metaphor, slang, phonetic dialogue and tone. Examples of flashback, foreshadowing, and dramatic irony are given. The purposes behind and impact of Steinbeck's narrative choices are considered. This is an excellent resource to help students develop a more sophisticated understanding of the writer's craft.

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Broadcast 24.11.09 John Malkovich, Gary Sinise. Two migrant farmhands try to make a better life for themselves during the Depression. Great Depression America migrants. Based on the novel by John Steinbeck

Audio and Video

Books in the Library

Study guides available from the Library:

Thinking Literature - John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men using higher order thinking skills by Jeff Lilly (TTR 823.912 STE)

Of Mice and Men - Modern Classics by Mike Gould (TTR 823.912 GOU)

Of Mice and Men : notes by Martin Stephen (TIV & KIN 823.912 STE)

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (TIV  F STE)

Of Mice and Men Talking Book read by Gary Sinise (HE9 STE) Audio disks