4John SteinbeckWas born on February 27th 1902 in Salinas Valley in the state of California in the USADied on December 20th 1968 in New YorkWas a famous writerU.S. Postage stamp
5The Nobel Prize for Literature In 1962 the Swedish Academy awarded John Steinbeck the Nobel Prize for Literature, the highest honour a writer can receiveThe prize was presented for the body of his workThe prize was met with outcries from critics who felt that Steinbeck had limited talent and was a writer of propagandaPrivately, he felt he did not deserve the honourAlthough the prize gave Steinbeck a place of great honour in the literary world, it also put terrible pressure on his future writing
6The United States Medal of Freedom The medal is the highest civilian award for distinguished AmericansIn September of 1964, John Steinbeck was awarded the United States Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B. JohnsonSteinbeck with his son, visits President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Oval Office of the White House
7The California Novels The Pastures of Heaven The Red Pony To A God UnknownTortilla FlatIn Dubious BattleOf Mice And Men (1937)The Long ValleyThe Grapes Of WrathCannery RowEast Of EdenSweet Thursday
10Of Mice and Men was published in 1937 was a popular and critical successwas selected by the Book-of-the-Month ClubSteinbeck produced a play version of the book with famous playwright George KaufmanThe play won the New York Drama Critic Circle’s Award and also became a popular film
11Place of Action Place of action Place of action is in the state of CaliforniaWe remember that Steinbeck himself was born in SalinasSoledad is a coastal California city about 130 miles south of San FranciscoPlace of action
12The American Dream & The Great Depression From the 17th Century, when the first settlers arrived, immigrants dreamed of a better life in America.People went there to escape from persecution or poverty, and to make a new life for themselves or their families.They dreamed of making their fortunes in the goldfields.For many the dream became a nightmare.The horrors of slavery, of the American Civil War, the growth of towns with slums as bad as those in Europe, and the corruption of the American political system led to many shattered hopes.For the American society as a whole the dream ended with the Wall Street crash of 1929.This was the start of the Great Depression that would affect the whole world during the 1930’s.However the dream survived for individuals. Thousands made their way west to California to escape from their farmlands in the mid-West.George and Lennie dreamt of their 'little house and a couple of acres'.The growing popularity of cinema was the last American Dream for many, Curley's wife was one: 'Coulda been in the movies, an' had nice clothes.'
13Migrant Farm WorkersDuring the 1930’s, when there was very bad unemployment in the United States, agencies were set up under the New Deal to send farm-workers to where they were needed. George and Lennie got their work cards from Murray and Ready's, one of these agencies.Farm workers getting work cards under a Government Scheme
14Why Of Mice and Men?The title of the novel comes from a poem by the Scottish poet Robert Burns ( ):The best laid schemes o' mice and men Gang aft agley [often go wrong] And leave us nought but grief and pain For promised joy!
15Gary Sinise Director and Actor Gary Sinise plays George, and also directed the film."I walked in this kid with open eyes, and walked out with very wet eyes..." Gary SiniseGary SiniseDirector and Actor
16Synopsis (sammendrag) John Steinbeck's classic story of loyalty and friendship focuses on two travelling farm workers, George and Lennie. George has taken on responsibility for the mildly retarded Lennie, who constantly seems to fall into trouble of one sort or another. George and Lennie don't plan to travel forever - someday, they will have a little place of their own...
17as the mildly mentally retarded Lennie John Malkovichas the mildly mentally retarded Lennie
24George Milton He is a small man, but has brains and a quick wit. He has been a good friend to Lennie, ever since he promised Lennie's Aunt Clara that he would care for him. He looks after all Lennie's affairs, such as carrying his work card, and tries to steer him out of potential trouble.He needs Lennie as a friend, not only because Lennie's strength helps to get them both jobs, but so as not to be lonely. His threats to leave Lennie are not really serious. He is genuinely proud of Lennie.He shares a dream with Lennie to own a piece of land and is prepared to work hard to build up the money needed to buy it."...with us it ain't like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us. We don't have to sit in no bar room blowin' in our jack 'jus because we got no place else to go. If them other guys gets in jail they can rot for all anybody gives a damn. But not us."He is honest with people he trusts. For example, he tells Slim that he used to play tricks on Lennie when they were young, but now feels guilty about it as Lennie nearly drowned.
25Lennie Small He is a big man, in contrast to his name. He has limited intelligence, so he relies on George to look after him."Behind him(George)walked his opposite, a huge man, shapeless of face, with large, pale eyes, with wide, sloping shoulders; and he walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws. His arms did not swing at his sides, but hung loosely."He shares a dream with George to own a piece of land. Lennie's special job would be to tend the rabbitsHe likes to pet soft things, like puppies and dead mice. We know this got him into trouble in Weed when he tried to feel a girl's soft red dress: she thought he was going to attack her.He can be forgetful - George continually has to remind him about important things.He is very gentle and kind, and would never harm anyone or anything deliberately.He is extremely strong: he can work as well as two men at bucking barley.He is often described as a child or an animal - he drinks from the pool like a horse and his huge hands are described as paws.Lennie Small
26Slim is the jerkline skinner (lead mule-team driver) at the ranch Slim is the jerkline skinner (lead mule-team driver) at the ranch. He is excellent at his job.He is the natural leader at the ranch. Everyone respects his views and looks up to him.He has a quiet dignity: he doesn't need to assert himself to have authority."there was a gravity in his manner and a quiet so profound that all talk stopped when he spoke. His authority was so great that his word was taken on any subject, be it politics or love."He understands the relationship between George and Lennie. He helps George at the end and reassures George that he did the right thing.We know little else about him, which gives him a slightly mysterious quality. Do you think he is too good to be true?Slim
27CurleyCurley is the boss's son, so he doesn't need to work like the ordinary ranch hands, and he has time to kill.He's little - so he hates big guys.He is a prize-fighter and looks for opportunities for a fight.He is newly- married and is very possessive of his wife - but he still visits brothels.There is a rumour that he wears a glove filled with Vaseline to keep his hand soft for his wife.
28She is newly married to Curley. We never know her name - she is merely Curley's 'property' with no individual identity.She is young, pretty, wears attractive clothes and curls her hair.She seems flirtatious and is always hanging around the bunk-house.She is lonely - there are no other women to talk to. Curley is not really interested in her.She doesn't like Curley - she tells Lennie that she only married him when she didn't receive a letter she'd been promised to get into Hollywood.She is naive.Curley’s wife
29Crooks Crooks is the black stable hand or buck. He is the only permanent employee at the ranch, since he injured his back in an accident.He is the only black man around and is isolated by his colour.He is always called the 'nigger' by the men, which shows how racism is taken for granted. The men don't mean to insult Crooks every time they call him this, but they never think to use his name.He is lonely."S'pose you didn't have nobody. S'pose you couldn't go into the bunk house and play rummy 'cause you were black...A guy needs somebody-to be near him....I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick."The only time he mixes with the ranch hands socially is when they pitch horseshoes - and then he beats everyone!He has his own room near the stables. He has books, which show he is intelligent and an old copy of the California Civil Code, which suggests he is concerned about his rights.He has seen many men come and go, all dreaming of buying a piece of land.
30CandyCandy is the oldest ranch hand. He lost his right hand in an accident at work.He is the 'swamper' - the man who cleans the bunkhouse. He knows he will be thrown out and put 'on the county' when he is too old to work.Because of this, he accepts what goes on and doesn't challenge anything: he can't afford to lose his job.He has a very old dog, which he has had from a pup. It is his only friend and companion.Carlson insists on shooting the dog because he claims it is too old and ill to be of any use. Candy is devastated.He is lonely and isolated, but makes friends with George and Lennie and offers his compensation money to help them all to buy a ranch together and achieve their dream.When he finds Curley's wife dead, he is furious, as he knows instantly that Lennie was involved and that they have lost their chance of achieving their dream.
32The Themes of the NovelThe novel is a parable (lignelse) that tries to explain what it means to be humanEssentially, man is a very small part of a very large universeIn the greater scheme of things, individuals come and go and leave very little, lasting markYet deep inside all people are longing for a place in nature – the desire for the land, roots, and a place to call ”home”The struggle for such a place is universal, and its success is uncertain
33The nature of loneliness Steinbeck’s vision of what it means to be human, touches on several themes:The nature of dreamsThe nature of lonelinessMan’s propensity (hang, tilbøyelighet) for crueltyPowerlessness and economic injusticesThe uncertainty of the future
36The Nature of DreamsOf Mice and Men is as much a story about the nature of human dreams and aspirations as it is the story of two menHumans give meaning to their lives – and to their futures – by creating dreamsWithout dreams and goals, life is an endless stream of days that have little connection or meaningGeorge and Lennie’s dream is to own a little farm of their ownThe telling of the story (dream) becomes a ritual between the two men
37The Last Telling of the Story... ...’We gonna get a little place,’ George began. He reached in his side pocket and brought out Carlson’s Luger. He snapped off the the safety, and the hand and gun lay on the ground behind Lennie’s back. He looked at the back of Lennie’s head, at the place where the spine and the skull were joined.A man’s voice called from up the river, and another man answered.’Go on,’ said Lennie.George raised his gun and his hand shook, and he dropped his hand to the ground again.’Go on,’ said Lennie. ’How’s it gonna be. We gonna get a little place.’’We’ll have a cow,’ said George. ’And we’ll have maybe a pig and chickens...and down the flat we’ll have a...little piece of alfalfa...’’For the rabbits,’ Lennie shouted.’For the rabbits,’ George repeated.’And I get to tend the rabbits.’’And you get to tend the rabbits.’Lennie giggled with happiness. ’And live on the fat of the land.’
38The Nature of Dreams...To George, his dream of having their own place means independence, security, being his own boss, and, most importantly, being ”somebody”To Lennie, the dream is like the soft animals he pets: it means security, the responsibility of tending the rabbits, and a sanctuary (tilfluktssted) where he won’t be afraidTo Candy, the dream of the farm offers security for old age and a home where he will fit inFor Crooks, the farm will be a place where he can have self-respect, acceptance, and securityFor George, Lennie, Candy, and Crooks–human dignity is an integral (vesentlig) part of the dream
39Loneliness Humans crave contact with others to give life meaning Loneliness is present throughout the novel- the ranch hands go into town to ease their loneliness with alcohol and women- Lennie goes into Crooks’s room to find someone to talk to- Curley’s wife comes for the same reasonCrooks says: ”A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you.”Slim mentions: ”I seen the guys that go around on the ranches alone. That ain’t no good. They don’t have no fun. After a long time they get mean.”
40Loneliness...George’s taking care of Lennie and the dream of the farm are the attempts to break the pattern of loneliness that is part of the human conditionSimilarily, Lennie’s desire to pet soft things comes from the need to feel safe and secure, to touch something that gives him that feeling of not being alone in the world. For Lennie, the dream of the farm parallels that securityThe theme of loneliness is also notably present in the characters of Candy, Crooks, and Curley’s wife. How?
41Loneliness... Candy: Candy’s dog stopped Candy from being lonely Curley’s wife: Her husband has forbidden anyone to talk to her. She combats her loneliness by flirting with the ranch handsCrooks: Crooks is isolated because of his skin colour. As the only black man on the ranch, he is not allowed into the bunkhouse with the others. He combats (kjemper mot) his loneliness with books and his work.
42Loneliness...Solidade: The name of the town means ”solitude” or ”alone”
43BarriersDespite the need for companionship, people set up barriers that maintain lonelinessPeople sustain (opprettholder) those barriers by being inhumane to each other
44Barriers...A barrier based on gender: The real thing that isolates Curley’s wife is that she is a female in an all-male worldA barrier based on race: Crooks being an Afro-American must occupy a room in the stable alone. He is not welcome in the bunkhouseA barrier based on age and handicap: Candy is afraid of being thrown out because of his age and handicap. He is a victim of a society that does not value age and discriminates against handicaps.
45Powerlessness Steinbeck’s characters are often underdogs He shows compassion (medfølelse) toward them throughout his body of writings
47Powerlessness... Powerlessness takes many forms: - intellectual - financial- societalSteinbeck touches them allWhich characters represent the different forms of powerlessness?
48Literary Device – Animal Imagery Lennieis often compared to a bear with his huge size and strength’s hands are described as pawsis always associated with rabbits and micesnorts like a horse at the streamCircles like a terrier when he does not want to bring the dead mouse to GeorgeThese animal images lead careful readers to question Lennie’s future. With his enormous strength and his lack of intelligence, common sense, and responsibility, Lennie causes the reader to wonder how well he fits into human society.