John Steinbeck: Of Mice And Men

Of Mice And Men cover - Rik Rawling

Guys like us got nothing to look ahead to.
John Steinbeck, Of Mice And Men

Over thirty years since I had to deal with Of Mice And Men as part of my English Literature O-level studies (I got a ‘U’, which is quite an achievement), this novel is still on the curriculum. Though I had always been a reader since I was in my playpen, the input was almost exclusively comics and I did not develop a love for literature until I was on the dole and spent day after day in the local library. So my first exposure to Steinbeck made no impression whatsoever and it wasn’t until many years later that I understood why he is so revered, having fallen headlong into the world he created in the pages of East Of Eden. After that, going back to Of Mice And Man, I saw what it is that makes it such a key text for introducing young readers to literature, which dredged up a long-suppressed memory from one of our mid-1980’s English lessons when we were asked to compare the novel with one of its many filmed versions. A friend observed: “In the book Crooks has a hunch back but in the film he has a hunch leg.”

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