Of Mice and Men

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brief, basic information laid out in an easy-to-read format. May use informal language. (Includes most news articles)


provides additional background information and further reading. Introduces some subject-specific language.


lengthy, detailed information. Frequently uses technical/subject-specific language. (Includes most analytical articles)

Spark Notes - Of Mice and Men

Schmoop Of Mice and Men

Shmoop. (n.d.) Of Mice and Men Summary. Retrieved from

Cliffs Notes

End scene comparison

Staging Shakespeare. (2015). Of Mice and Men Film Comparison 1939/1992. Retrieved from


Somerset County Tourism. (n.d.) Retrieved from Lord Stirling Theater Company Presents John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” at Farmstead Arts Center in Basking Ridge June 2-11

Of Mice and Men, novella by John Steinbeck, published in 1937. The tragic story, given poignancy by its objective narrative, is about the complex bond between two migrant labourers. The book was adapted by Steinbeck into a three-act play (produced 1937). It was adapted for television three times, including a Turkish-language version, and for motion pictures twice (1939 and 1992).

The plot centres on George Milton and Lennie Small, itinerant ranch hands who dream of one day owning a small farm. George acts as a father figure to the large and mentally challenged Lennie, calming him and helping to rein in his immense physical strength. When Lennie accidentally kills the ranch owner’s flirtatious daughter-in-law, George shoots his friend rather than allowing him to be captured by a vengeful lynch mob.


In 1902, Salinas, California was a prosperous farming community, founded about fifty years earlier. Agriculture was the region’s pay dirt. Only fifteen miles from the Pacific, the 50-mile long Salinas Valley was cool and often foggy, temperatures moderate, and the soil rich beyond measure. Ranchers and farmers thrived. Growing wheat and barley in the 19th century, sugar beets in the late 1890s and vegetables and lettuce in the opening decades of the 20th century, growers and shippers’ fortunes would soar during John Steinbeck’s childhood and teens. By the time he went to college in 1919, the valley was about to ship lettuce across America in refrigerated railroad cars. Lettuce became the “green gold” of the Salinas Valley....


National Steinbeck Centre. (2019). Biography. Retrieved from


4 Part series of videos on context, characters, and themes. 

Part Two: Character Analysis

To a mouse - Robbie Burns

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie, 
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie! 
Thou need na start awa sae hasty, 
          Wi’ bickerin brattle! 
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee 
          Wi’ murd’ring pattle! 

I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion 
Has broken Nature’s social union, 
An’ justifies that ill opinion, 
          Which makes thee startle, 
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion, 
          An’ fellow-mortal! 

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve; 
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live! 
A daimen-icker in a thrave 
          ’S a sma’ request: 
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave, 
          An’ never miss ’t! 

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin! 
It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin! 
An’ naething, now, to big a new ane, 
          O’ foggage green! 
An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin, 
          Baith snell an’ keen! 

Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste, 
An’ weary Winter comin fast, 
An’ cozie here, beneath the blast, 
          Thou thought to dwell, 
Till crash! the cruel coulter past 
          Out thro’ thy cell. 

That wee-bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble 
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble! 
Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble, 
          But house or hald, 
To thole the Winter’s sleety dribble, 
          An’ cranreuch cauld! 

But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane, 
In proving foresight may be vain: 
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men 
          Gang aft agley, 
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, 
          For promis’d joy! 

Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me! 
The present only toucheth thee: 
But Och! I backward cast my e’e, 
          On prospects drear! 
An’ forward tho’ I canna see, 
          I guess an’ fear!

Poetry Foundation. (2019). To A Mouse. Retrieved from

The Grapes of Wrath

Analysis of dialogue in Of Mice and Men

Patti Forster. (2016, May 1). Dialogue and Formality in Of Mice and Men.  [Video File].  Retrieved from


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