Reading Books As a Way to Get Life Lessons: Opinion Essay

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The book Of Mice and Men has a very unique list of characters. The characters range from child trapped in a man’s body to a full of himself man, who wears a glove full of Vaseline. We first meet George Milton, he is a small but smart fella. We then meet Georges bigger but not so bright companion Lennie Smalls . Lennie may not be the brightest bulb on the tree, but he has a heart, and just wants to be happy. The next character that we meet is Candy . Candy is an old man who knew that his days on the ranch were numbered as he had lost his hand. Next we meet Curly, he is a small man who thinks he is big and bad. He is one of the antagonists, and is always looking to start a fight. We then meet Slim who is tall, dark, and mysterious man. He is a down to earth guy who is quick to befriend George. There is Carlson, a bigger man who is friends with slim. Last is Curly’s wife who is very pretty, and is always giving other men the eye. All of these characters are what makes the book Of Mice and Men such a good read.

Another reason that this book should be taught in English is that is gives a very good representation of the Great Depression. To start, as you read the book you become submerged with the aspects of the Great Depression. Steinbeck does and amazing job creating vivid imagery and bring to life the Depression era. For example He talks about the dusty vegetable fields of southern California, or the beautiful Gabilan Mountains . The Great Depression caused George and Lennie to struggle and have to go out and work hard labor filled jobs. They had to bounce around from job to job because of the depression, and Lennie’s childlike features caused the pair to run into a lot of troubles along the road. During the Great Depression people felt lonely and isolated, and George and Lennie had to rely on each other for comfort and support. In an ever changing world of the Great Depression, the only constant was the rough but loving relationship of George Milton and Lennie Smalls. The setting of this book is an essential component to the plot. Steinbeck does a good job of using elements of history to tell the tragic story of two every day men, who have to make tough decisions in a time of despair.

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The third and final reason why this book is a great book to teach in English class, is the fact that it tells several life lessons. The first life lesson is the challenges that one faces when they may not be considered “normal” in societies standards. Lennie was a mature adult male with the strength of bull, but the mind of 5 year old. Lennie was a man who forgot many things. However, he never seem to forget the things that were important to him. For example, George may have told him one something important to George, but it would have gone in one ear and right out the other. In Lennie’s world the rabbits were the most important thing to him . It’s important for students to understand that other people have challenges they face, and that it is ok to be different. The next life lesson is helping others less fortunate than others. George felt that is was his duty in life to look out for Lennie, and to be is protector in this cruel and unjust world. For example he always tried to make lite of Lennie’s mental disability, whether it be downplaying his IQ but saying he is a hard worker, and would never hurt anybody. . Every person should learn to help anybody in need, because they never know what they could be going through. The final life lesson is death is inevitable and doesn’t always happen in convenient ways. Steinbeck takes the hard topic of death, and lays it out in a very innocent and childlike way. Through the course of the book Steinbeck uses the character Lennie to help tackle to topic of death. For example the innocence of it all starts at the beginning when Lennie is playing with a mouse, and ends up killing it, because he doesn’t know his own strength

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Reading Books As a Way to Get Life Lessons: Opinion Essay. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from
“Reading Books As a Way to Get Life Lessons: Opinion Essay.” Edubirdie, 12 Aug. 2022,
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