Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Is It the Right Title?

In the story, Of Mice and Men Steinbeck was going to name his story, "Something That Happened." Although that title is perfect for this story, the actual title fits even better. The title, "Of Mice and Men" comes from a poem by Robert Burns titled, "To A Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest, with the Plough."

If I had not read Robert Burns' poem I would have said the title, "Something That Happened" is more appropriate for this story, but I did read it. While reading it I came to these lines which said,
"But Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leaves us nothing, but grief and pain,
For promised joy!"
In these few lines is a resemblance to what happened to Lennie and George.

Lennie and George are not alone. They are with every other man in their world who has a plan. Unfortunately, like the poem says, "The best schemes of mice and men go often askew." George and Lennie had a plan, but any plan can go wrong and that is what happened to theirs, which left them with nothing but grief and pain.

So even though the title, "Something That Happened" is perfect for this story, its actual title, "Of Mice and Men" is more appropriate. This title, which comes from Robert Burns' poem, relates mores to what happens in this book. Steinbeck chose a great title for his book and there is not a better one.

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