Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men: Movie Vs. Book

The movie 1992 movie version of Of Mice and Men shows differences along with
similarities to the book written by John Steinbeck. Differences were common
mainly within the plot of the story. The first notable variation was in the
beginning. The book started off with George and Lennie walking on a dirt road
near a swamp while the movie started off with George on a train with a
flashback. This shows how the movie differs by starting off in a different time
frame than the book. Another case in point of a small but noticeable plot change
was when Lennie kills the puppy. The book states that Lennie is sitting on the
ground of the barn crying with the puppy lying in front of him. On the contrary,
the movie shows Lennie standing up with the puppy in his hands pacing back and
forth while worried yet not crying. Hence, the movie provides a different
picture for the viewer than Steinbeck gives for the reader. In the last
instance, which possibly shows the greatest contradiction between the two, is
the ending. The novel illustrates the ranch workers coming and finding that
George had just killed Lennie. Slim tries to comfort George while they move away
from the scene as Carlton says “Now what do ya ‘spose is eatn’ them two?”
In sharp contrast to this, the movie ends with George on a train once again,
possibly to make it a traditional denouement, and visualizing him working on the
ranch with Lennie walking off into the sunset. Indeed, two completely dissimilar
endings plot wise. Along with those differences there are aspects in the movie
that show a strong resemblance to those in the book. For example, Lennie’s
characteristic of being childlike shows in the movie as well as in the novel.
John Malkovich who plays Lennie does a great job at showing a glimmering
expression on his face when he looks at George as well as a playful expression
when he is playing with the puppies. This is parallel to Steinbeck’s
description of Lennie’s facial expressions. By the same the token, George’s
character keeps his characteristic of being a father figure towards Lennie.
George, played by Gary Sinise, does this primarily with his tone of voice by
varying it from strict, such as when he is scolding Lennie about Curley’s
wife, to more compassionate, for instance when he is cleaning the blood off
Lennie’s face after the fight with Curley. The tone characteristics coincide
with those described in the same situations in the book. A correlation is shown
between the book and movie as well with the basic mood of the story. The dismal
ambiance is illustrated through George’s look of helplessness and grief from
Lennie’s mistakes. The sense of a righteous closure is also felt at the end
due to the fact that even though Lennie had been shot point blank by the only
person in the world that had an ounce of care or affection for him, the feeling
that it was the only suitable action for George to take resides in the movie in
an almost equivalent way to Steinbeck’s novel. To recapitulate, John Steinbeck’s
novel Of Mice and Men possesses aspects of resemblance as well as discrepancy to
the 1992 film version of the classic narrative.

Category: Book Reports