This popular high school or college required reading written by Steinbeck was one book I have never read. Neither have I watched the movie (1940) or newer versions (1981, 1992). What intrigues me is Amer Library Association has listed the novel as top sixth 100 banned books during 1990-1999. How can popular novels written by a famous author who earned a Presidential Metal of Freedom in 1964 received banned and challenged review years after initial publication? Perhaps it was a typo until I confirmed:
· "Of Mice and Men" was banned:
Syracuse, Indiana, 1974;
Oil City, Pennsylvania, 1977;
Grand Blanc, Michigan, 1979;
Continental, Ohio, 1980
Skyline High School, Scottsboro, Alabama, 1983.
· The book was challenged:
Greenville, South Carolina, 1977;
Vernon-Verona-Sherill, NY, School District, 1980;
St. David, Arizona, 1981;
Telly City, Indiana, 1982;
Knoxville, Tennessee, School Board, 1984
Steinbeck wrote the novel at his house in Los Gatos, Ca back in 1937. It was an era of depression; migrant workers and poverty persisted in the US. Steinbeck had dropped out of Stanford earlier to work on the Sprechels Sugar Ranch in this area as a farm hand. He observed the workers behavior and wrote about them. They represented low education and economically poorly people who would do anything to survive. He accurately described the way things were with no flowerily words.
The plot of the novel was quite straight forward.
George Mitton (witty, small) and Lennie Small (big man with small brain) both dreamed of acquiring a little land of their own someday. They also were in need of each other's company. This was in the middle of the depression years among many poor migrant workers searched for work. As low social class they got no respect in the society.