Of Mice and Men

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Date: 2002 2003

Region: North America

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Literature

Artist: John Steinbeck (1902 - 1968)

Confronting Bodies: parents in each of the school districts

Dates of Action: 2002, 2003

Location: Grandville, Michigan; George County, Mississippi; Normal, Illinois; USA

Description of Artwork: Of Mice and Men, is widely considered a classic piece of American literature. It is a story of two men who do field work, one of whom is mentally infirm. The story follows their saga and subsequent plight working in small towns.

The Incident: (2002) Challenged as required reading at the high school in Grandville, Michigan because the book “is full of racism, profanity, and foul language.” (2002) Banned from the George County, Mississippi schools because of profanity. (2003) Challenged in the Normal, Illinois Community High Schools because the book contains “racial slurs, profanity, violence, and does not represent traditional values.”

Results of Incident: In the Illinois case, an alternative, Steinbeck’s The Pearl, was offered but rejected by the family challenging the novel because they felt it, too, contained inappropriate language.

Source: Daily Pantagraph