What Is the Summary of "Of Mice and Men"?

summary-mice-men Credit: Thwaites EMPIRE Theatre/CC-BY-2.0

The story "Of Mice and Men," written by American author John Steinbeck, tells the tale of the unlikely friendship that forms between the characters Lennie Small and George Milton in California. "Of Mice and Men" begins with the arrival of Lennie Small and George Milton in Soledad, California, where they venture to seek opportunities as migrant workers in the farming community. Before their arrival in Soledad, however, Lennie and George lived and worked in Weed, California, but fled after the authorities there accused Lennie of attempted rape.

Physically, Lennie and George differ as much as night and day. George is small in stature but quick-witted and sharp. What George lacks in height Lennie makes up for, but he lacks the same level of intellect and education that George has. Although Steinbeck does not elaborate on how the relationship between the two characters begins, he makes it clear from the start that they share a close bond. Lennie and George share a dream of one day owning and operating a farm of their own, literally and figuratively working with each other to make their dream come true. Plans change, however, when Lennie encounters trouble with fellow worker Curley, who finds Lennie involved with his wife. Knowing Curley vows revenge, George shoots and kills Lennie.