Of Mice and MenfromJohn Ernst SteinbeckAuthor:John Ernst Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, on February 27, 1902 of German and Irish ancestry. His father, John Steinbeck, Sr.
, served as the County Treasurer while his mother, Olive (Hamilton) Steinbeck, a former school teacher, fostered Steinbeck's love of reading and the written word. During summers he worked as a hired hand on nearby ranches, nourishing his impression of the California countryside and its people. After graduating from Salinas High School in 1919, Steinbeck attended Stanford University. Originally an English major, he pursued a program of independent study and his attendance was sporadic. During this time he worked periodically at various jobs and left Stanford permanently in 1925 to pursue his writing career in New York. However, he was unsuccessful in getting any of his writing published and finally returned to California. His first novel, Cup of Gold was published in 1929, but attracted little attention.
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His two subsequent novels, The Pastures of Heaven and To a God Unknown, were also poorly received by the literary world.Steinbeck married his first wife, Carol Henning in 1930. They lived in Pacific Grove where much of the material for Tortilla Flat and Cannery Row was gathered. Tortilla Flat (1935) marked the turning point in Steinbeck's literary career. It received the California Commonwealth Club's Gold Medal for best novel by a California author. Steinbeck continued writing, relying upon extensive research and his personal observation of the human condition for his stories. The Grapes of Wrath (1939) won the Pulitzer Prize.During World War II, Steinbeck was a war correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune.
Some of his dispatches were later collected and made into Once There Was a War.John Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 “…for his realistic as well as imaginative writings, distinguished by a sympathetic humor and a keen social perception.”Throughout his life John Steinbeck remained a private person who shunned publicity. He died December 20, 1968, in New York City and is survived by his third wife, Elaine (Scott) Steinbeck and one son, Thomas.
His ashes were placed in the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Salinas.Summary of the book:Chapter One:Two men emerge from the path along the Salinas River that runs a few miles south of Soledad, California. Traveling to a farm for work. The two men walk in apath down to a deep pool near the river.
Both men, George Milton and Lennie Small, wear denim trousers and coats. George is small and quick, dark of face with restless eyes and strong, sharp features. Every part of him is defined. Lennie, who walks behind him, is an enormous man with wide, sloping shoulders. George warns him that he should never drink water that isn't running. Lennie, who is mentally deficient, asks George where they are going, because he cannot remember. Lennie claims that he remembers about the rabbits, the only part of their plan that he can ever remember. George notices that Lennie has his hands in his pockets, and asks what he has.
It is a dead mouse, that Lennie kept with him. George explains to Lennie that they are going to work on a ranch like the one in Weed from which they came, and tells Lennie not to speak when they get to the ranch, for their boss will think that Lennie is insane. He also warns him not to do the things that caused them to be run out of Weed.
George tells Lennie to give him the dead mouse, and tells him that he might get him a live mouse if he can take care of it. Lennie remembers that a woman (Aunt Clara) would give mice to him, but George reminds Lennie that he always killed them. They eat cans of beans for dinner, and Lennie tells George that he likes them with ketchup. George, tells Lennie that without him he could do whatever he wanted, but Lennie gets him fired from every job they take. They got fired of their last job when Lennie wanted to feel a girl's dress, and she screamed, because she thought Lennie tried to rape her. George tells Lennie that at the first chance he gets, he will get Lennie a puppy, which he will find harder to kill than a mouse.
Lennie asks George to tell him about the rabbits. George tells him the story which he has told Lennie many times: George and Lennie will have one day their own ranch. Someday they're going to raise enough money to have a small farm. They will have a big vegetable patch and a rabbit hutch. George makes Lennie promise that he will not say a word, and tells him that if there is any trouble like last time, he should hide in the brush until George.