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Of Mice and Men

Exhibition Piece: The English Department has loaned a copy of their book ‘Of Mice and Men’. The life of the novel spans the whole life of Impington Village College, a time which has witnessed great changes. It has also been a set text for many years.

By Tamsin Eddy, Lead Practitioner, English; IVC

‘Of Mice and Men’ was first published in 1937.  John Steinbeck’s famous text is about society and how we relate to each other and Steinbeck said that his maxim was: ‘Try to understand each other.’  This is at the heart of what English as a subject at IVC is about, in the true comprehensive ideal of Henry Morris – community life.

Impington Village College opened just at the outbreak of a world war which would radically alter the face of society and bring home the truths that the novel is exploring; friendship and tolerance are vital for survival and civilization.  After WW2, nations became metaphorical Slims, holding out hands of friendship to each other in an attempt to heal the hurt.

‘Of Mice and Men’ has been studied by many hundreds of children passing through the English Faculty here at IVC and has left its impression on them - the hallmark of an important book.  As this piece was going to press, it was announced that as it is not an English novel, it is no longer acceptable as a novel in the study of English Literature and has been dropped from exam syllabuses.  However, we will continue to read this powerful work of literature with our students.