What connections can be made to Of Mice and Men? 

Expert Answers
M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Connections in literature can be made in three different ways : 

  • Text to text: When the literature is comparable to other literature
  • Text to self: When the literature is comparable to personal events
  • Text to world: When the literature is comparable to historical, social, or other world events

It is recommended that all readers attempt to make all three connections in order for the literature to make full meaning. After all, literature tells fictional and non-fictional accounts of everyday life within a myriad of different backdrops and scenarios. 

Depending on your particular experience with literature, and your exposure to it, you may be able to find all these connections in Of Mice and Men. 

For example:

Text to Text connections:  Of Mice and Men is comparable in theme and setting to another Steinbeck novel, The Grapes of Wrath. They are not the same, just comparable. For example, both novels take place during the Great Depression. The characters are also farm-connected, and driven away by harsh or desperate situations. The same sense of desolation, poverty, hunger, and isolation permeate the works. 

Text to Self connections: Think of any time you have felt entirely alone. Did the few people around you make you feel less lonely? Have you ever been on the run from something and unsure about your future?

The title from the novel Of Mice and Men comes from a verse of the Robert Burns poem "To a Mouse" in which he writes

the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry

Think about it: When have you ever had "best laid plans" which go all wrong?

**This could also be a text to text connection, as the title comes from another work of literature.

Text to World:  Think about the historical consequences of The Great Depression and the universal topics that came with it: hunger, sadness, death, depression. Those universal themes are part of the world in which we live. Can you think of other events in history that have affected people the way that it affected those men in the story? What other consequences happened as a result of the Great Depression that affected the country, or the world as a whole? 

Those are examples of connections.

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Of Mice and Men

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