In the early 1900’s, George and Lennie are laborers in the South. Lennie is mentally handicapped, so that he is simple, and acts like a child. George looks after him, and tells Lennie how to behave, so that they can find work. Lennie is big, and strong, but childish. He loves to pet soft things, like mice, but he is not gentle enough and often kills them in the process. George has promised Lennie a farmhouse, where they can take care of themselves, and have lots of animals, including rabbits. Lennie really wants rabbits. He wants to feed them alfalfa and pet them. George originally made this up to soothe Lennie, but as time went on, he became attracted to the idea as well. George and Lennie find work at a farm, not that different from any other place they’ve worked, but the events that happen are quite different than any other place.
Steinbeck focuses more on imagery than really anything else. The beginning and the end of the book are set in the woods, and the description of the animals is quite extraordinary. There is amazing detail in how he describes the setting. He is really painting a picture with his words. He also uses slang and tries to write out phonetically the dialect and accent the characters use, so you really can get a sense of what they sound like. There are also a lot of symbols. Pretty much everything is a symbol, whether or not you realize it. Many symbols you don’t recognize the significance of until after you’ve finished the book, while some are fairly obvious. The story progresses a little slowly sometimes, and it can be hard to understand at points.
I would recommend this book to anyone who liked The Pearl last year. The story is quite different, but the writing style is similar. It’s a quick read, only about 105 pages. Also, anyone who enjoys sad stories. The genre is realistic fiction, or maybe historical. Both of those genres are pretty wide, though. In my opinion, everyone should read this book. It’s a classic, and not one of those boring classics where the most exciting event that happens is the main character meets a guy/girl. It’s a good story, and there really isn’t any romance. The novella really hits close to home at some points, mentioning feelings, events, and opinions that one can really sympathize with, sometimes speaking truths and expressing emotions that we are afraid to admit.