Sunday, July 12, 2015

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck REVIEW

Of Mice and MenOf Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Steinbeck’s writing is wonderful. He packs quite a punch in this little novella. He uses simple characters to create a complex work that tackles universal themes of friendship, loneliness, poverty and helplessness. He uses animal imagery that is both symbolic and suggestive. Symbolism isn’t my strongest suit, but here, even I get it. He condemns society for its treatment of the lowest classes. He basically does it all in 100 pages.

The one thing that I didn’t like was the way Steinbeck penned Curly’s wife. None of the characters had very much depth, but Curly’s wife’s behavior was odd, to say the least. I imagine these laborers as being smelly, dirty and unattractive. It is inexplicable that she would have been completely undiscerning in her attraction to them, desiring all of the men equally. Since Curly’s wife was such a pivotal character, I would have liked for Steinbeck to have taken a more nuanced approach with her.

Although, I rate this book five stars, I won’t be reading more Steinbeck anytime soon. The bottom line is that his stuff is depressing. I get it. I even like it, but I need it in small doses. Two Steinbeck books in one year are more than enough for a while.

I am participating in a classics challenge. The challenge requires a blog entry for each classic book. You can find my blog at http://linda2015classicschallenge.blo...

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

My son is reading John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men in English class, so, being that I am in a classic's challenge, I figured I'd give it a go.  I know the plot, presumable because I read it in high school myself, but I don't actually remember reading it.

I can probably go ahead and take care of the Ws:

WHEN I Discovered This Classic:  high-school, most definitely

WHAT Makes It A Classic:  Steinbeck's pros is wonderful and he tackles big themes of loneliness, work, poverty and tragedy.

WHY I Chose to Read It:  I love reading books with my kids

WILL It Stay A Classic:  Yes

WHO I’d Recommend It To:  No one.  Steinbeck is completely depressing.  His whole purpose seems to be to let us know that, if you poor, life sucks, and, then, you die.  The poor have no control and all choices lead to one depressing outcome.