John Steinbeck’s "Of Mice and Men" John Steinbeck’s 1937 novella Of Mice and Men was inspired by Robert Burns’ 1785 poem “To a Mouse” and by Steinbeck’s own experiences. It is a tragic story about two men. Lennie Small is a strong but mentally challenged man and George Milton is his friend who wants to get them both work as farm laborers, which was selfless on George’s part and a reasonable goal that sadly falls short as hapless but muscular Lennie is too dangerous to be among people. It is a tragedy that was no doubt also inspired by the depression that America was in the grips of at the time. Many people were suffering because their ventures were not panning out as planned. The economy was bad and opportunities were limited, in this...The end:
.....y and purposeless. Steinbeck was inspired by Burns’ line as it encapsulated the brutal reality of a nation that told itself that it was prosperous. Steinbeck had seen first hand and at great length the extent of America’s failure to create jobs and opportunity for its citizens. It is unclear if that is what a government is supposed to do but the debate over the reality of America’s poor become more informed after this novella was published. Bibliography Burns, Robert. “To a mouse.” Inkeeper.net. 1785. Retrieved 23 May 2011. http://www.inkeeper.net/burns/mouse.html. Olson, James Stuart. Historical dictionary of the Great Depression, 1929, 1940. New York: Greenwood Press, 2001. Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. New York: Covici Freide , 1937.