Shannon's Reviews > Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
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's review
Jul 07, 07

i hated this book.
steinbeck is crap.
children should not be forced to read it.

ok, i really just don't like steinbeck's aesthetic. i dislike the killing of innocent animals, the dehumanization of the mentally retarded--and don't try to tell me that lenny isn't marginalized here. the book is depressing and directionless, and not in the ironic waiting-for-godot sort of way. the descriptions are flat, emotionless, and dessicated.

however, curly's wife is awesome. she's just so bizarre and pathetic, so out of place. i love her.
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Comments (showing 1-19 of 19) (19 new)

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Connery Why are you complaining about the killing of innocent animals? It was nessecary for the story, and to develop more feelings toward Lenny. If Lenny didn't pet things, the story wouldn't work at all. His killing the puppy and mouse (maybe a rabbit as well...) helped make the reader sympathize with Lenny, who is somewhat similar to Frankenstein's monster; Lenny just wants to pet nice animals, but he's so strong he hurts them, and feels terrible, and we feel terrible also, it's tragic. Lenny is probably the most human in the entire book, he feels happiness, elation, sorrow, remorse, regret, fear; Curly's wife, however, is the least human (she's so superficial, Steinbeck didn't give her a real name), hardest to relate to (with the exception of Curly himself, and probably the animals).

Shannon thanks for the response. i appreciate your opinion (however simplistic) about the book and its characters. i do not appreciate the personal attack, however. please keep your reviews directed at the text, not other reviewers.

Steven Shannon wrote: "thanks for the response. i appreciate your opinion (however simplistic) about the book and its characters. i do not appreciate the personal attack, however. please keep your reviews directed at ..."

What is your promblem? That wasn't a personal attack, that was a sophisticated response to your crappy review on a book you obviously didn't understand. And Lenny, though mentally retarded, was never dehumanized, you idiot. I'm sorry for the hostility of this comment, but I can't stand how ignorant you are to the themes and ethics of this book, yet you post a review that just makes yourself look ridiculous. And, by the way, this is what a personal attack looks like.

Mtw646 I thought the sybolism of killing the dog was very appropriate. You love it, have had it for a long time, but it isn't doing anyone any good. Just like Lenny; means no harm but always causes problems for George.
I volunteer at a summer camp for kids with severe mental disabilities and I can tell you first-hand that sometimes they do break things or hurt their friends (hug them around the neck too hard) even though they have good intentions. I agree with Steven, Lenny was never dehumanized.
He was going to be killed for what he did either way, so it was better that George was the one to do it.

Julie S. But was it better for George to do it? I get it-Candy had said that he should have been the one to shoot his dog. But does that it make it true?

Mtw646 George would have been made to suffer and die scared, but Lenny made him happy in his last moments with his story and killed him quickly.

Aric Oh no Shannon. The killing of innocent animals? Steinbeck wanted you to feel this way, he wasn't glorifying it but tring to make you feel something. When Lenny was killed, didn't you relate back to when he was stroking the dead mouse in his pocket? How he killed the mouse but not because he craved violence, but because there was something beautiful in the combination between his strenght and innocence? Lenny was not "dehumanized". If anything he was shown to be the strenght of humanity, despite his handicap he still adored the softness and beauty nature offered. In fact throughout the story the weakest charachters were the ones who were given the greatest human qualities while the physically stronger ones were made to seem animalistic. Even George was not shown to feel human emotions until the end when Lenny died which was meant to show even the most calloused of man can connect with the softest. I wish you could see it as more than big vs small, but instead the struggle between physical and emotional human strength and how we need to view this as our ultimiate struggle and gift at the same time.

Waynestennett The comments in this thread show a great deal more depth than the actual review did, how odd!

message 9: by Yvette (new) - added it

Yvette OMGosh, Steven... I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. Thank you. Your comment was awesome!

Adrian Anderson Yeah agree with those above. All the haters here clearly did not grasp the key concepts of the book. :)

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi Shannon, I'm sorry that so many people have jumped on your review because it means that you're probably less likely to respond to my comment. I think it's really interesting that you hated the book. Judging from your first statement about kids being forced to read Steinbeck, I assume that means you had it forced down your throat in school and it still has a bitter taste to you. I was luckily enough to never have a teacher throw a Steinbeck at me during school, and most people who come to discover it on their own find they quite like most of his books. It's interesting you think that Lenny was marginalised as a disabled character, for he's treated as a soft hearted simpleton and it's rare for that era that the topic of disability was even addressed at all, rather just avoided and ignored. I think Steinbeck's treatment of Lenny was very human and tender. We were obviously made to pity and feel compassionate towards him. As for the animals, I'm an animal lover too and it was upsetting to read their deaths, however I agree with a previous commenter that it was necessary to upset the reader with those scenes as it helped our understanding of the characters, Lenny especially.

message 12: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Purkiss Hey maybe you can be some sort of literary vegan ie. you shun books that have any mistreatment of animals because we all know that if a puppy dies in a book than it dies in real life.

But really, your review was the worst defence of a bad rating that I have seen thus far.

Hillary "Hey maybe you can be some sort of literary vegan ie. you shun books that have any mistreatment of animals because we all know that if a puppy dies in a book than it dies in real life."

Hilarious. I'll be using "literary vegan" from now on, when appropriate

Miriam I personally didn't like this book because of the way it made me feel. There are a few things that really get to me emotionally and those are the mentally disabled, old people, and animals. If any of those are combined with death, it's pretty much guaranteed that I'll turn into a sobbing pile of tears (and for the record, I don't mind a nice sad ending every once in a while). However, I can see why it's a classic. Steinbeck does an amazing job at evoking strong emotions, but Of Mice and Men left me feeling sick.

Megan Caro I'm sorry you felt this way about it but Steinbeck was just being realistic. That is how mentally disabled people were treated in that time. Of mice and men is not a fairy tale. It's raw and real.

Megan Caro And reading this book in high school is what led to me devouring all of steinbecks works and led to him being my favorite author. I'm so glad I was made to read it.

Gemma Scott I had a similar feeling of being more sorry for the animals than Lenny. I don't think he does feel bad about killing the animals. He tells Curly's wife that he killed the puppy and she says it's ok, we can get you another one but he doesn't care about that, he only cares about getting found out and then George telling him that he won't be able to have rabbits.

Megan Caro Lenny needs to be pitied. He has no depth of death or sorrow. He's simple minded like a child. A child would act the exact same way. I feel like not many people understand this about Lenny. He's deeply misunderstood.

Neil the review is pretty appalling

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