As one of the largest literary museums in the United States dedicated to a single author, the National Steinbeck Center began as an initiative by the local community and civic leaders to create a forum for his writings and one that would inspire and launch successful literacy and educational programming.
This series of four clips explores the context, characters, themes and writing style of Steinbeck's popular classic. Presenter led and supported by dramatised sequences and direct quotations from the novel. Of Mice and Men: Context and Background Understanding John Steinbeck's influences and life experiences as well as the economic and social landscape of America in the 1930s will help readers to better understand the events and themes in Of Mice and Men.
This clip sets the scene for the novel by providing a brief overview of the causes and impact of the Great Depression, and how it shaped Steinbeck's values and writing. Ideal for introducing the novel prior to reading. Of Mice and Men: George, Lennie and Curley's Wife This analysis provides insight into characters George, Lennie and Curley's wife, how they are shaped by their circumstances and environment and how this influences their choices. It identifies their key traits and flaws, hopes and dreams, and the role each plays in the tragic unfolding of the plot. Examples of language choices used to reveal each character are given. This is a clear and easy to follow examination of characterisation in Of Mice and Men. Of Mice and Men: Strength and Weakness In Of Mice and Men.
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)
Two migrant workers, George and Lennie, have been let off a bus miles away from the California farm where they are due to start work. George is a small, dark man with “sharp, strong features.” Lennie, his companion, is his opposite, a giant of a man with a “shapeless” face. Overcome with thirst, the two stop in a clearing by a pool and decide to camp for the night. As the two converse, it becomes clear that Lennie has an intellectual disability, and is deeply devoted to George and dependent upon him for protection and guidance.