Last week , I was looking for something to read , a quick and easy novel/short story . I stumbled on the story "Of Mice And Men" by John Steinbeck . I've read "The Pearl" many times , so I decided to incorporate the two novellas in today's book review .
The common thread that runs through both stories , is humanity . What does it mean to be human ? Each individual forms a very small part of a large , immeasurable universe . But deep inside each one of us is a longing to be recognised , acknowledged - we want to belong - we desire land , roots and a place to call "home" . The struggle to find such a place is universal , and the outcome is not always guaranteed . Steinbeck shares his vision of what it means to be human . In doing so , he touches on several themes : the nature of dreams ; the nature of loneliness ; man's propensity for cruelty ; powerlessness , dispossession and economic injustice , and the uncertainty of the future. Both stories also examine the morality and necessity of particular actions the characters choose as they pursue their dreams .
OUTLINE ~ THE PEARL
The legend tells of an Indian pearl diver who cannot afford a doctor for his son's scorpion sting. In this anxious state, he finds The Pearl of the World and is able to get medical help for his boy. Calculating the profit from the gem, the diver dreams of a better life—a grand wedding, clothes, guns, and an education for the boy. But his dream of leaving his socio-economic station leads to ruin. As he attempts to escape those that want to take the pearl from him, he is tracked by professional hitmen and tragedy ensues. No pearl is worth the price Kino and his wife pay, so they throw the pearl back. Their story is a warning to restless dreamers yearning for an easy or magical solution to their problems .
REFLECTIONS : The Pearl is more than just your simple "Be careful what you wish for ..." tale
~ it's about deceptive treasures ; finding certain things that are out of reach to be of utmost importance ...
~ it's about family and everyday life ; real life doesn't always have a happy ending , rather a mythical one as we see the main characters walk through the town , quietly , side by side at the end of the story .
~ it's about money ; is it always the answer to a problem ... the story reveals how good fortune can lead to pure evil .
OUTLINE ~ OF MICE AND MEN
The action of the novel occurs over the course of three days. Steinbeck created the novel's two main characters, George Milton and Lennie Small, to portray victims of forces beyond their control. George and Lennie are two migrant agricultural workers on a California ranch who share a dream of owning their own farm someday. They take jobs at a ranch where their hopes are at first raised but then destroyed by a tragic accident. Steinbeck depicts George and Lennie as two innocents whose dream conflicts with the realities of a world dominated by materialism and greed. Their extraordinary friendship distinguishes them from other hopeless and lonely migrant farm workers. The novel portrays a class of ranch workers in California whose plight had been previously ignored in the early decades of the twentieth century. In fact, George and Lennie are like mice in the maze of modern life. The great friendship they share does not prove sufficient to allow them to realize their dream.
REFLECTIONS : Of Mice And Men is also about the following
~ the unpredictability of life which often ends in tragedy
~ it's about manhood and male bonding ...
~ loneliness and dreams ; those who are lonely have most need of dreams to help them through , sometimes it's the only thing they possess .
HAPPY READING !