Q:

Why was "Of Mice and Men" banned?

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Quick Answer

John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" has been banned from libraries and school curriculums since its publication in 1937 for a variety of reasons, including its use of profane or foul language and depiction of violence and racism. For example, exclusion of the book from a school curriculum was proposed in one area in 2007 due to a character's exclamatory use of the words "Jesus Christ" as part of non-religious dialogue. In this context, "banned" does not mean that the book was universally forbidden or censored for a consistent period of time; rather, it refers to the fact that this book has been deemed inappropriate for some audiences for a variety of reasons.

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Full Answer

"Of Mice and Men" is the story of two American men who are searching for the opportunity to become financially independent during the Great Depression. One of the main characters is a mentally challenged adult who is depicted as being stronger than he realizes, which is a subject that occasionally leads to the book being removed from curriculums or otherwise challenged. Due to the fact that the book is relatively short, describes a culturally and historically significant time period and uses relatively simple prose, it is often thought of as a good book for inclusion in high school reading curriculums.

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  • Q:

    Who wrote "Of Mice and Men"?

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    American author John Steinbeck wrote "Of Mice and Men," which was published in 1937. It is the story of two migrant workers who share the dream of one day owning a ranch.

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  • Q:

    What are some interesting facts about author John Steinbeck?

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    The Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Steinbeck displayed as a young man many of the traits and ideas that would later become major thematic elements in works such as "The Grapes of Wrath," "Cannery Row" and "Of Mice and Men." At the age of 19, Steinbeck interrupted a sermon while visiting his mother's church when he felt that the minister's preaching placed a greater emphasis on the hunger of the soul over the hunger of the body for food. The young author's outburst made a point of comparing the satisfied congregation to the people outside the church who were hungry for "a crust of bread" and could not earn enough to feed themselves.

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  • Q:

    What was life like for the migrant workers in "Of Mice and Men"?

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    Life is very difficult for the migrant workers in "Of Mice and Men," according to a plot synopsis from SparkNotes.com. Life is very strict on the ranch, which is why George must lie to the boss, promising him that Lennie is not going to be a problem. All of the workers must deal with the boss's son Curley, who is possessive of his flirtatious wife.

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  • Q:

    What do we learn about Crooks' family in chapter four from "Of Mice and Men"?

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    SparkNotes comments that Crooks, in chapter four of "Of Mice and Men," speaks about his family and growing up on a chicken farm. He states that he played with white children at that time, and that his family was the only black family around for miles.

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