Of Mice and Men Questions for Discussion

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Of Mice and Men is a famous and controversial novel by John Steinbeck. There have been many cases in which the novel was asked to be removed, sometimes successfully, from school curriculums due to profane language and dark themes such as murder, mental illness, and euthanasia.

Given its controversial nature, there are many opinions and interpretations of Of Mice and Men, which makes it a fun novel to discuss and debate. Here are some questions that will get the conversation rolling.

Starting From the Top:

  • Where did Steinbeck get the title from? What is he referencing? 

Themes and Symbols:

  • What is the central purpose of the story?
  • What are other themes in the story? How do they relate to the plot and characters? 
  • Can you think of any symbols that represent one of the themes you just discussed? 
  • How does the setting add to the story? Could the story have taken place anywhere else?
  • What types of conflict occur in Of Mice and Men? Are the conflicts physical, intellectual, or emotional?

Let's Talk About The Characters:

  • Are George and Lenny consistent in their actions? Are they fully developed characters? 
  • From the women in the velvet dress to Curley's wife, female characters have played a large part in changing Lennie and George's life. What is the role of women in the text? And why does Steinbeck not give them names?
  • How does John Steinbeck reveal character in Of Mice and Men?

What Are Your Opinions?

  • Would you recommend this novel to a friend? 
  • Do you think the book should be censored or banned? 
  • Do you find the characters likable? 
  • Does the story end the way you expected? How? Why?