Of 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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