Of Mice and Men Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In Of Mice and Men, how does Steinbeck use George and Lennie's relationship as a whole to convey ideas about America in the 1930s?

Expert Answers info

cornert07 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2012

write11 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Math, and History

Steinbeck utilizes their friendship to criticize the pessimistic outlook of the time, as seen in the Boss’s reaction to them – “say what you sellin’”. By using the word “sellin’”, he conveys how people were unwilling to accept other approaches to life. Furthermore, the monetary connotations of the word exhibits how people became too materialistic and it suggests that if they were to open themselves up to new thinking, they would not be so isolated, as is seen on the ranch.


The power of relationships is shown when Candy is inspired to contribute to George and Lennie’s shared aspirations. When George says, “we’ll fix up that old place”, the advantages of working together are presented. Steinbeck’s selection of the word “fix,” relates to the economic and social problems prompted by the Great Depression. It suggests that through working together, America would recover and people could live the Jeffersonian Agrarian Myth, as symbolised by the dream, “live off the fat of the land”. 

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

morgansamueljones | Student

Could you by chance send me an essay about this? The question is "how does steinbeck use george and lennie's relationship to convey ideas about America in the 1930s" (20marks).. i'd really papreciate it!