Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck
Contributed by Joslyn Justiniano

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Overview
Author
John Steinbeck
Year Published
1937
Type
Fiction
Genre
Novel
About the Title

Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” lends an unusual degree of sensitivity to the issue of disability as the competent leader George leads his mentally handicapped, possibly severely autistic friend Lennie across several landscapes. A major theme that pervades the novel exists in the cautious dynamic between George and Lennie - one presumably based on friendship and the need to survive - and the rest of society. While Lennie is useful for his strength, his inability to understand normal social conventions and conduct himself normally earns him aspersion from other characters. George, while more tolerant of Lennie’s actions, is forced to make a difficult decision of whether or not to euthanize Lennie due to a murder Lennie commits by accident. Lennie’s innocence because of his mental deficiency along with George’s sense of guilt and obligation to those around him in these final moments encompass the various features of this book.

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