Of Mice and Men is a novella written by John Steinbeck that tells the story of two migrant workers, George Milton and Lennie Small, who dream of owning a small farm in California during the Great Depression. The title of the book is derived from a line in the poem "To a Mouse" by the Scottish poet Robert Burns: "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley" (often translated as "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry").
The title is a fitting choice for the novella as it reflects the book's theme of the fragility of dreams and the unpredictability of life. Despite their best efforts, George and Lennie's plans are ultimately doomed to fail due to circumstances beyond their control, such as Lennie's mental disability and the harsh realities of the world they live in. The title also highlights the contrast between the smallness of the characters' dreams and the vastness of the forces that conspire against them.
Moreover, the title can be seen as a commentary on the larger societal forces that shape the lives of people like George and Lennie. The Great Depression was a time of great economic and social upheaval, and the lives of many ordinary people were disrupted by forces beyond their control. Steinbeck's choice of title suggests that the struggles of his characters were representative of the struggles of many people during that time period.
In conclusion, the title "Of Mice and Men" is a reference to the poem "To a Mouse" and is a fitting choice for John Steinbeck's novella, as it reflects the book's themes of the fragility of dreams and the unpredictability of life, as well as the larger societal forces that shape the lives of ordinary people.
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