The Of Mice and Men reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Of Mice and Men

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Of Mice and Men is a novel by John Steinbeck written in 1937 which tells the story of George and Lennie, two of many men displaced by the Great Depression. Lennie is a large man with the mind of a child, and George is a small man with a quick wit. The title of the story refers to a line in "To a Mouse" by the Scottish poet Robert Burns.

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When Lennie accidentally kills the wife of their boss's son, George kills him to protect him from the wrath of the men who are chasing him.

The novel was made into two films:

1939, directed by Lewis Milestone
1992, John Malkovich (Lennie) actor/director Gary Sinise (George)

The novel was banned from various American school libraries or curricula in 1993 and 1994 for "profane language, moral statement, treatment of the retarded, and the violent ending". Nevertheless, it now appears as one of the possible books that can be studied for GCSE English in Britain.

Carlisle Floyd wrote an opera based on this novel in 1970.