“Of Mice and Flowers”

* A revisit to Flowers for Algernon, one of my favorite novels, from a slightly different perspective.

bookriport 1  martch 5

  Iam so luky my rabits foot must realy be working. Not only am I mabe going to get an opurashun to make me smart but Miss Kinnian is helping me with speshul school wurk. She said its becaus I realy am trying so hard at reding and writng.  Today she read a story to me caled Mis And Men.  That is a funy titl.  What does a litle mouse have to do with a big person aneway.  It was good.  I tried hard to red to with Miss Kinnian but after a wile she said it was oka just this once to jest listen.  She sed the best thing wus just to understand whut the story wus about. mis and men is about two frends that like to walk in the wuds, talk about animuls, and go camping.  I’v nevr been camping, but somtimes I get to visit a park that is as big as everithing.  My favorite wus Lenny, because he likes rabits and one time I got to pet some rabits here at Beekmin Coledge.  They are soft.  When we got done Miss Kinnian askd, Charly what do you think so I sed I like animuls and going for walks in the park to.  What els Miss Kinnian askd but I didnt kno what els to say.  I forgot the rest.  But Miss Kinnian red it agen to me because she is so nic just so I would remembr and have somthing to say.  After that I thot hard and sed Georg seems to really like Leny wich is good becuse Georg is smart.  Having somone smart like Georg mens Leny will always be oka.


April 2I didn’t kno this but Mice and Men is much longer than the part of the story Miss Kinnian first read to me.  Each new story is called a chapter.  I’m supposed to read only one chapter every month, so I won’t know what happens in the end for a long time.  She said reading the book and knowing what I think of it will help everyone understand me a lot more.  I think dr. Stauss should read too it is really good.

   In the second chapter George and Lenny are both trying to get someplace, not just stay in the wood sand camp.  I had got that wrong before.  They would rather work and advance just like me at Donner’s Bakery yesterday when I learned the mixer and am no longer a janitor.  I hope George and Lenny both got a job and friends that makes them happy like me.

  I still like Lenny.  I’m sure he would be happy if he was smart like I’m going to be. I don’t know about the other characters now.  George always gets angry at Lenny for no reason and tells him not to talk but maybe Lenny is being looked after like how Joe Carp and Fred and Gimpy look out for me. And George lied which I have always been told is wrong.  Telling the truth is always best I think  but today I noticed Joe lied to a customer too. She asked if some rolls that had been sitting there in the case all night were fresh and he said yes.  Maybe Joe didn’t want her to be disappointed by not getting any.

  The men in the story all curse.  There’s apart wher George says Lenny is a God Dam good worker.  Gimpy is a good worker too when he does something so Two days ago when Mr. Donner was looking for Gimpy I knew and said God dam Gimpy was in the freezer.  Mr.Donner stared at me without saying anything and then laughed loud.  Maybe Gimpy isn’t as good a worker as I thought.

May 10- I am continuing on in this small exercise concerned Of Mice and Men because I realize what debt I owe to you and to Beekman for always having had faith in my limited capabilities.  As stipulated I read only the third chapter but it would be agreed that Steinbeck telegraphs the ending in the novella’s initial pages and so the reader is left to contemplate the nature of fate.  Lenny will surely die as is foreshadowed by first the shooting of Candy’s hound and the closing in of Curly and his wife’s antagonism among other clues.  If anything, because you desire such details,I also can now fully appreciate the sexual desire felt by the men for Curly‘s wife, and a level beyond Lenny’s simple crush.

  I suppose this is the entry where it is expected that I lament my own one-dimensional connection to Lenny, glad to be rid of a world that was confined to the joys of petting small creatures.  Rather, I feel as though I have fulfilled the dream of independence Steinbeck denies to his characters.  Make no mistake, I have reached that farm,and am beholden to no one.  My metaphorical ranch and all of its small minded Curleys and Slims are finally behind me.  I escaped not only my own prison but have surpassed the sorry trappings that keep my former colleagues at the bakery forever dreamers.

June 20-  The ability of such a simple work to affect me is beguiling.  More than once during the fourth chapter I stopped to contemplate the parallels between Lenny/George and my own emerging split personalities. The idea of Lenny as a nuisance made me laugh.  Clearly that is what I have been most of my life without ever fully realizing it. From the progress reports you know I was dimly aware of my presence causing strife- as with Norma and Matt growing up-yet lost as to how my own existence was the cause.  From these hazy memories a real anger emerged at Crook’s taunting of Lenny that George would jettison him never to return.  It’s funny.  I can argue dozens of collective pathology theories that claim to explain human cruelties from Thorndike to Skinner:  low socio-economic clearly cause undue burdens, minimal education builds barriers between people; yet professions still enamored with Behaviorism alone will lazily make the claim deviance without adopted a segment of Maslow’s human needs approach.  In the end, however, these conjectures are in complete or misleading, and only serve as evidence of human beings groping in the dark for whatever answers might fit for a time.  It is my own hypothesis that as the claims of breakthroughs and certainty of answers mount civilization will only continue to fray under the weight of such sideshow tonics. The pacifier will instead become an irritant as society understands the most basic crises that abound within us cannot be rooted out, but will remain.  I submit as evidence Lennie’s violent, fearful response to Crook’s suggestion that George as stabilizing dynamic might disappear.  I ask you: does not Lennie’s own nervous rage belie his fragile confidence in the present safeguard of George?  How else can you explain the increase in contemporary violence as the world maintains it can plot mankind’s insanity, or the fact that my existence is both openly and secretly reviled instead of celebrated.

If anything Drs. Strauss and Nemur are replicas of the character Candy, hoping to foolishly leech some semblance of a dream off of me. I wish them to know that there is no farm and no rabbits to pet, and I am the verification.  A precise understanding of agricultural intensification correlating to various soil compositions will not increase the yield of joy derived from making something green spring from the earth.  This insight, I fear, will be lost on them,as they will persist in pestering me about their proximity to living off their own fat of the land.

August 20-  Forgive the brevity of this entry as my time is short and energies must be focus on Algernon.  I have truthfully been wanting to finally read Steinbeck’s climax- the awaited culmination bringing that wife’s death at the hands of a petrified Lennie- yet I have been fearful of it at the same time.  What is it that truly unnerves me?  That Lennie violence was not entirely innocent, or that I might be capable of the same?  I cannot help but mirror methodical way in which the wife provoked Lenny with my own naïve willingness to be used as Nemur’s simpleton test-case.  In this we are blameless.  Similarly, we both tasted an instant of delight and no more, experiencing supple hair or a supply mind,respectively.  Yet we both overshot the mark horrendously.  How can this not be termed an unraveling nightmare, Alice?  I only wish you never felt as frightened with me, but I suspect you did.  My greatest distress stems from the notion that throughout this I have never achieved normal, that I am just as sexually confused and emotionally detached from the world.  I hate Lennie for it.

nov 18–  Sory.  I am just writing this for you now Miss Kinnian.  I forgut I still have one part of Mic And Men still to red.  Maybe you can explan to me wy Georg had a gun in his hand wen talking to Leny.  They seemed to be realy good frends.  I’m going to read it all agen so Ill remembr. If Leny ran away I hope Georg finds hem and they wil get ther rabbit farm and be frends.  Maybe they can also get some mic like the titl sez that are nis like Algernon.

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