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Steinbeck: Of Mice and Men

2. Part One (pp. 1-11)

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About this Lecture


In this module, we go through the first half of the first part of the novel – up to the point where Lennie must surrender a mouse he has found (and killed) to George (“You ain’t to be trusted with no live mice”, p. 11). In particular, we think about the Edenic opening paragraphs of the novel, our initial impressions of the relationship between Lennie and George, and the themes of remembering, forgetting, and repetition.


In this course, Professor John McRae (University of Nottingham) explores John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. We begin with a broad introduction to the world of the novel, focusing in particular on life in America during the Great Depression and the idea of the American Dream. After that, we go through the novel section by section, providing close reading and analysis of character, plot, themes, motifs, language, symbolism – and more.

(1) Page numbers refer to the Penguin edition of the text. Students using a different version of the novel may encounter slight differences in page numbers.
(2) Please be advised that this course contains frequent references to the n-word.


John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

McRae, J. (2018, August 30). Steinbeck: Of Mice and Men - Part One (pp. 1-11) [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

McRae, J. "Steinbeck: Of Mice and Men – Part One (pp. 1-11)." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 31 Aug 2018,