• Reading Levels 3 - 5

Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck's 1937 novellaA long short story or short novel. tells the story of two migrant workers, Lennie and George, who find work on a ranch at the height of America's Great DepressionA severe worldwide economic depression that started in the US in 1929. When Roosevelt was elected, the US unemployment rate stood at over 20%.. Steinbeck had himself been a migrant worker in the 1920s and used the novella to explore some of the themes and ideas he encountered. The book takes its name from a line in a poem by Robert Burns: "The best-laid plans of mice and men / Often go awry." In other words: no matter how carefully something is planned, things may still go wrong. Lennie and George dream of a better life, but the novella ends on a tragic note when George shoots Lennie to protect him from an angry mob after he accidentally commits a murder.

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