Getting Started on your John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men Essay

There many things you can focus on when writing an Of Mice and Men essay. You could focus on one of the characters in the story, the socio-political issues Steinbeck brings up, or even Steinbeck’s dialogue focused style of writing. In fact, one of the reasons that Of Mice and Men is such a popular essay assignment is that there are so many different, yet equally valid ways to write an Of Mice and Men essay. As you write your Of Mice and Men essay, here are some potential essay topic ideas.

  • Write a compare and contrast essay about life as a day laborer during the time of the novel, and what that life is like today.
  • How important was location to writing this novel? Could Steinbeck have written the same novel if he had chosen another location?
  • Explore the themes of hopelessness and desperation.
  • Why did George continue a friendship with Lennie when he clearly does not respect him?
  • What elements in the novel would motivate people to ban Of Mice and Men from school libraries and reading lists?
  • Examine the portrayal of Curley’s wife by Steinbeck
  • Write a character analysis on Lennie. Was there more to him than his seemingly simple-minding thinking and behavior?
  • Write a character analysis on George. Did he really believe the farm story?
  • What is the significance of the story about the farm? Is it hope, or is it pacification?
  • Explore the subject of racism depicted in the novel
  • Explore the subject of misogyny in the novel

About Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck, and its Impact Today

Before writing an Of Mice and Men essay, it is important to understand the impact that this work has had on modern culture. Primarily, this means understanding the influence of the relationship between Lennie and George on modern film, literature, and television. When Steinbeck created these two characters, he created something so compelling that others still try to reproduce it today. After all, who hasn’t seen a cartoon depicting a big, lumbering, bothersome yet loyal, not very bright character who cheerfully follows around his smaller and more intelligent best friend? Freak the Mighty is a modern, young adult novel depicting a smaller, very bright young man, and his relationship with a larger and rage-prone young man. The parallels between these characters and Lennie and George are undeniable. This is great information to include in an essay as it demonstrates that you have analyzed the novel beyond simply reading it.

It is always a good idea to study the author themselves when writing an essay about a literary work. It is a great way to understand why the writers chooses the subjects that they choose, and why the characters in their stories are depicted the way that they are. Take some time to find some biographical about Steinbeck. Then, see if you can tie his life to his writing in your essay.