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Steinbeck: Of Mice and Men

3. Part One (pp. 11-18)

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About this Lecture


In this module, we go through the second half of the first chapter of the novel, beginning with George’s story of why he and Lennie had to leave their last job (“You do bad things and I got to get you out”). In particular, we think about the two men’s plans – and dreams – for a better life in the future (“Someday—we’re gonna get the jack together and we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an’ an cow and some pigs and—“).


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. 11-18) [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

McRae, J. "Steinbeck: Of Mice and Men – Part One (pp. 11-18)." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 31 Aug 2018,