By James Gilmore
Of Mice and Men might as well have been called “the ranch of broken dreams.” Presenting itself like a stage play in all but format, author John Steinbeck maintains Aristotle’s unity of place and time by focusing our attention on a microcosm inhabited by two men who share a single hollow dream. Ultimately, their dream collapses due to their own human weaknesses and those of their fellow men. The fundamental core of the story illustrates how human beings latch onto hope, real or imaginary (but in either case perceived as actual), as a goal to strive for, as a reason for living, and how and why reality seldom plays out like our dreams say they ought.
Of Mice and Men packs brutal emotional impact through realistic, layered characters and relationships in this structurally sound novella.
Readers will find Of Mice and Men much more accessible than Steinbeck’s far more brutal Grapes of Wrath, and should be required reading for any serious reader or storyteller.
Rating: 5 / 5