Of Mice and Men Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Of Mice And Men Short Summary

What is a short summary of the book, Of Mice and Men?

Expert Answers info

Bruce Bergman eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor


calendarEducator since 2011

write3,640 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business

Steinbeck's short novel follows two men, George and Lennie, as they take on a new job working on a ranch in central California "bucking barley" for the ranch owner and his son.

George and Lennie begin the story at the Salinas River where they discuss their past (the immediate past and the more distant past), discussing how they have come to be here and where they are going (narrative and character exposition ). The men have come from "up north" where Lennie has done something that got the men...

(The entire section contains 263 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


amayesme | Student

Of Mice and Men is all about the pursuit of happiness.  Lenny and George are juxtaposed as friends traveling together.  Each represents a different view of the same situation.  They are both migrant workers during a time period denoted by the euphamism "The Dust Bowl".  Each of them is looking for some similance of comfort in this time.  Lenny, who is mildly mentally challenged, finds comfort is soft things such as a dead mouse in his pocket that he can pet occasionally.  George finds comfort in his dreams of the future; a farm, a family and enough money to maintain them both.  What sets these two apart from other migrant workers is the fact that they have each other.  Most workers travel from place to place alone.  This is both a blessing and a curse for George.  Although he appreciates having Lenny to talk to, he finds that Lenny's propensity to get into trouble regularlly becomes a problem and forces them to move much more than they would generally need to.  George and Lenny find themeselves on a ranch where they run into a number of characters who are also looking for some type of happiness.  In a nutshell, Lenny's pursuit of comfort causes him to touch things and people he shouldn't.  The result is the accidental murder of one of the worker's wife.  Rather than have a mob torture and kill Lenny, George has to make a very tough decision.  However, George's course of action leaves the reader wondering was his decision based on the love of his friend or the love of his dream and his own desire for happiness.