The Great Depression and the hardship it caused spawned many classics of American literature that have since become fodder for high school English classes across the nation. Topping the list is John Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men. The plot traces the journey of George and Lennie, two migrant workers in California farm country. We meet them after they’ve been forced to leave their previous ranch in a chain of events chalked up to Lennie’s odd behavior. Upon arriving at their new farm, owned and run by a character known simply as “The Boss,” George and Lennie once again find themselves in crosshairs. The strong and complicated bond between the pair forces George to take weak Lennie’s life into his own hands. Along the way, their pursuit of the American Dream (and the attendant prospect of land ownership) falls by the wayside, the victim of a harsh economic downturn, a freak accident and mob hysteria.
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