The last time I was "on the road," I took Of Mice and Men with me on the drive. If you've never experienced this famous John Steinbeck classic, it's an intriguing one to pick up for summer reading. The novel was first published in 1937, and the history of the book has been fraught with controversy and book banning. Of course, it's also one of the most fascinating of Steinbeck's works (themes, context, universality, and all the rest... it has something for almost every reader, whether you find that you love it or hate it).
In Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck writes: "Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place... With us it ain't like that. We got a future."
What future do they have? They're working-ranch men, moving from one place to another. They're always onto something else (partly because of Lenny). They want more: a better life.
This is their dream:
"All kin's a vegetables in the garden, and if we want a little whiskey we can sell a few eggs or something, or some milk. We'd jus' live there. We'd belong there. There wouldn't be no more runnin' round the country and gettin' fed by a Jap cook. No, sir, we'd have our own place where we belonged and not sleep in no bunk house."
What's your dream?
Cover Art © Penguin.