Part of the GCSE English Literature specification for many years and still popular with many teachers, Of Mice and Men is a classic. It allows students to not only comment on character and language techniques but also the ‘historical and social context’ of the book. Discussion of the times in which a story is set is a fantastic way to get extra marks as a GCSE student.
Steinbeck’s story movingly shows modern readers the impact of natural and man made disasters on the lives of his characters and it quickly wakes us all from the idea that an American Dream could be a reality instead of what it is, a fantasy. In some texts the historical and social context is a difficult idea to access and discuss; here it is central to the book and that is why Of Mice and Men is so popular with English teachers.
Victoria Betton reviews the play of the book which is currently on at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in this blog post for Culture Vulture. It is a review with a difference because she saw the play with her daughter and it is personal and funny, not overly academic.
Culture Vulture is a great blog for keeping up with what is going on in and around Leeds. Pub reviews, comments on city living, and arts discussion all presented by people who really give a damn.