|Of Mice and Men – A Review
„Of Mice and Men“ is in my opinion an unusual book. Steinbecks narrating-style is on one hand really prudent and sketching, when he describes the characters of the story. He doesn’t tell the reader much about their background, their feelings and thoughts. Most information the reader has to search in the doings of George, Lennie and the others. On the other hand Steinbeck often uses a very illustrating language when he describes actions and events. That makes the reader think about the meaning of the words. This is one reason why reading his book is so interesting. The author seems to have a feeling for language, I have never seen before. He is able to keep the readers attention by showing him little riddles. If you read the book you always think about what the actions and events are telling you about the characters. You always search a kind of connection for your puzzle. Doing this, gives you the feeling that you‘re a part of this story. After reading the novel you don’t think that all these men and women in the book are literary characters or strangers, they have become friends. That’s also the reason, why this book is so emotional, even if there is never really spoken about emotions. The moment when George kills Lennie is one of this emotional parts. It’s a very negative and immoral action, George is doing there, but the reader can understand him. It’s hard for George to kill Lennie. He is his best and only friend and has also become a kind of little brother for him. But George has to kill him - there’s no other way shown. If he doesn’t, the others will do it in a more brutal and aggressive way. This would be much harder for Lennie. Think about it: What would you do in this situation? That brings all the discussions about active euthanasia back in my mind, which you see so often in TV-shows or newspapers. I know, that the situation in the book is a little bit different, but it also deals with the moral conflict of this problem. This latest point is the most important reason for me to like the book. A good book needs a good message. That is often the only thing which is interesting at the end. This message mustn’t be very obvious, it can be hidden or shown in a normal way. Steinbeck seems to be a author who shares my opinion. This don’t surprise me, because from his biography I know, that many people thought he would be a kind of socialist or communist. If you share those political ideas, you always have to be a philosopher and idealist. Such man and woman need messages and dreams. Even if I’m not a socialist or communist I also need messages and values, which is often the same. And if you look around: Is there anybody ho doesn’t need this? “Mice and Men” is the only book of Steinbeck I have ever read, but he seems to be an author who isn’t only interested in money. He also seems to be interested in making society better – and that’s something literature can do in a often very slow, but effective way.