Reading Club: Of Mice and Men

《人鼠之间》(Of Mice And Men),是美国作家斯坦贝克的短篇小说,讲述了George与Lennie这两个农场民工于经济大萧条之际在加州寻找工作的悲剧故事。《人鼠之间》曾因“语言亵渎,带攻击性,并有种族主义倾向”被视为禁书。1962年John Steinbeck因这部小说获得诺贝尔文学奖。


Grace: Recently, we have read a book called Of Mice and Men, and it was written by John Steinbeck. This book has won the Nobel Prize in Literature. In this book, two migrant workers, George and Lennie, who are in the bottom of society, struggle for their own little dream. However, they can’t resist the cruel reality: their beautiful dream seems too far to reach. Because of an accident, their dream vanished as a soap bubble in a moment.

So, Wendy, after reading this book, what part do you think attracts you the most?

Wendy: In my opinion , the most attractive part of this book is the relationship between George and Lennie. George always tries his best to take care of Lennie. I am really moved by this part.

Richard: In my opinion, the most attractive part is the description of the dreaming farm of George, Lennie, and Candy. The reason is that it represents the beautiful dream of lower class at that time. And also, it reflect the society.

Grace: This book is called Of Mice and Men. Wendy, what profound meaning do you think this title has?

Wendy: The title of the novel comes from a poem that tells the story about people destroying mice’s homes when they are farming. In fact, the mice in of mice and men this book not only represent the mildly retarded hero Lennie accidentally killed mice again and again, but symbolize people who struggle in the bottom of the society. They can not control their own destiny, just like those poor mice in the poem. I think that’s why the name of this book is of mice and men.

Grace: In the middle of this book, Candy’s dog was killed by gun because it’s too old and suffering from its illness. I think it’s accidentally coincide with the death of Lennie. What do you think about this, Richard?

Richard: In my opinion, my favorite character is George. The reason is that he always tried his best to make Lennie live happily. Although Lennie always make some troubles, he never gives up Lennie. If I were him, I can’t achieve that. In fact, it’s a hard thing for everyone to achieve. So I think George is my favorite character.

Grace: In this book, the author depicts many fresh and alive characters. They both have many unique personalities. I wonder who is your favorite character, Wendy?

Wendy: As for me, my favorite character in these book is Lennie. Because he is kind, soft, and loves playing with animals. He always has nice hope to his future and struggles for it.

Grace: Many people think the ending of Of Mice and Men is a tragedy:George found Lennie by the lake, and he killed Lennie by shorting at the back of his head. Do you think that there can be a better ending for George and Lennie, Wendy?

Wendy: Due to Lennie killed Curly’s wife, I think George killed Lennie is the best ending. He shot Lennie because he didn’t want other people to kill Lennie earlier than him. If other people find Lennie first, they will torture Lennie until he dies. For George loved Lennie, George killed him first to let Lennie die in his fantastic imagination and happiness. This ending is fair, but it also brings readers a sense that this society is cruel.

Grace: But I really don’t want Lennie to die.

Richard: Yes, I agree with Grace. I think the ending could be better if it becomes that George took Lennie to another farm. The reason is they had done this for another time. They escaped from another farm and hided in this farm with nothing happening. They could hide as the first time they did. Also, considering the friendship between them, I think George shouldn’t shoot Lennie without thinking twice. And as Wendy just said, according to the law, Lennie should be killed. But I think the law at that time wasn’t fair enough. And if Curely caught Lennie, he won’t punish Lennie according to the law. Instead, he will treat Lennie  cruelly, and then make him dead. So this could be a better ending of this story.

Grace: Wow, Of Mice and Men is really an interesting book, and I think it is worth for us to think about. Hope this reading club can give you a better understanding of this book. Thanks for your listening!

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