Imaginative Writings of Mice and Men.
John Steinbeck's book, Of Mice and Men, was originally going to be titled "Something That Happened-. This title expresses the feeling that there is no control what takes place in this world. Things just happen. Nature is a continuous circle of life and death. Most people are born without choice and die without choice, making life a very mechanical process. "Something That Happened- would have been good title for the novel because it gives the reader a sense of the ending being inevitable. Lennie had always gotten in trouble no matter how hard George tried to prevent it. The killing of Curley's wife was simply an impending tragedy waiting to happen. This philosophy makes the events that take place in the novel just "some things that happened-; they are inevitable and uncontrollable.
I believe that Steinbeck's choice to change the title the book to "Of Mice and Men- was based not only upon his love for Robert Burn's poem but because of his realization that the new title vividly expressed what he was trying to accomplish as a writer. It not only relates to the theme and occurrences within the book, it adds to the idea that some things in life, such as death, are unavoidable. It illustrates that we as human beings strive to develop a way to overcome the insignificant role we occupy in the world. Like the characters in the novel, we each have a dream in life that promises us joy but sometimes fate transcends above our plans and causes them to go astray, leaving us nothing but grief and pain.
The images of mice and men are also the central focus of the book. The characters "George, Lennie, Candy and Crooks "are mice who want to be men; nobodies searching for significance in their lives. For a few chapters in the novel these mice are elevated to manhood. George has a place in mind to buy, Lennie has decided upon the color of his rabbits, Candy has started counting his profits like a successful businessman and Crooks no longer feels like a cripple and tells the boys he could work in the fields.