This is my second time reading this book but it may as well have been my first. All I remembered about Of Mice and Men was that Lennie liked to pet bunnies and there was that one Saturday Night Live skit about it. (Check it out here.)
As the book opened with Lennie and George by the river, looking for wood for their fire, it struck me that the relationship between them is much like the relationship between me and my three year old. George is mildly tolerant of Lennie’s behavior, gently scolding him, often frustrated with him, but bound to him nonetheless. “God a’mighty, if I was alone, I could live so easy,” George laments in the early pages of the book. Amen, brother. Of course, I would never shoot my three year old in the back of the head like George does to Lennie (oops … spoiler alert!), but there is a parent/child kind of vibe with them.
George and Lennie have big dreams. They talk of owning their own farm where they’d live off the land, have rabbits, have a nice house. It’s the American dream of that era, where these California ranch hands have little but the clothing on their backs. But they can’t hold a steady job due to the “trouble” Lennie gets himself into. The man doesn’t realize his own strength.
A quick read, Of Mice and Men is a classic that everyone should read, at least once.