I have yet to see two characters different from one another while complimenting their partnership with every interraction. George, a small quick-witted man and his partner, Lennie, a large slow-witted counterpart, travel the hills of the Salinas valley in search of work and the fulfillment of a long standing dream. But when Lennie finds himself infatuated with yet another soft and furry specimen, the men find the need to cover another one of his blunders up in order to save face. But when the last of Lennie’s mistakes materialize, grace has all but run out. As a result, George does what only a good friend could do.
I found the piece sprinkled with just enough humor to keep the heavier parts of the story palatable. Steinbeck gets right down to the belly of brotherhood, where a true friend is willing to do what’s best for the other, no matter the cost. The last scene, while close to unbearable, is brilliantly foreshadowed by another earlier on. And while I would have hoped for a different ending, intuitively I know the one that hit the page was best.
I can see why this novella is assigned in English classes all over the country, and I highly recommend it for anybody wanting to feel changed by its poignant delivery.