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  1. Member
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    John Steinbeck, "Of Mice and Men"

    I’ve moved this thread to the Literature Forum because I think the Editing & Writing Topics Forum might be the wrong place. If that isn’t the case, please remove it. I’m sorry.

    I'm going to give my middle school students (they’re 13 years old) a simplified version of the last chapter of John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men". I made it myself, so I'd like to know if it is grammatically correct and, above all, if it sounds awkward to a native's ear. The language is very easy.
    Do you think it sounds idiomatic enough? I’d like my students to speak natural English, I mean not too strongly reminiscent of their native tongue.

    Lennie came out of the bushes. Then he sat down and said, “I didn’t forget what to do. Hide in the bushes and wait for George. But George is very angry with me. I’m always in trouble. ”He looked at the mountains. “I can go up there and find a cave. If George doesn’t want me, I’ll go away... I’ll go away,” he repeated. Suddenly he heard the sound of footsteps and then he saw George. Lennie got up.
    “Do you love me, George? I know you love me.”
    George sat next to him. “Yes,” he answered.
    George was silent.
    “George,” Lennie said.
    “I’m always in trouble.”
    “It doesn’t matter,” said George and he was silent again. They heard the sound of men’s voices.
    “George,” Lennie said.
    "Are you angry with me?"
    “No,” answered George.
    “Well, I can go away,” said Lennie. “I can go to the mountains and find a cave, if you don’t want me.”
    “No,” said George. “I love you. We’re not like other guys who work on ranches, because…”
    “Because I look after you and you look after me," said Lennie. He smiled. He was happy that George was with him. The men’s voices were very near now.
    George took off his hat. “Take off your hat, Lennie. The air’s warm.”
    Lennie took off his hat.

    “Tell me about the farm, George.”
    “We’re going to have a little farm,” George began. He put his hand into his pocket, took out Carlson’s gun and looked at the back of Lennie’s head.
    “Go on, George.”
    George hesitated for a moment, then he began: “We’ll have a cow and maybe a pig and some chickens, and...”
    “And some rabbits. I can feed the rabbits.”
    “Yes, you can feed the rabbits.”
    Lennie laughed happily like a little boy. “And we can live on the fat of the land.”
    The sound of the men was very very near now.
    George raised the gun and pointed it at the back of Lennie's head. He pulled the trigger. The loud noise of the shot went through the valley. Lennie's body shook and then fell to the ground. George looked at the gun and threw it far away. From the trees, he heard Slim shouting, “George, where are you?” But George sat still and looked at his right hand.
    The men ran towards him. “You shot him!” cried Curley. Slim sat down next to George. “Don't worry, George. Sometimes a man has to do certain things.”
    “How did you do it?” Carlson asked George.
    “I just did it,” said George. His voice was tired, almost a whisper.
    Slim touched George’s arm. “Come on, George. Let’s go to town and have a drink.”
    Slim helped him to stand up. They went away and Carlson said to Curley, “Now what the hell do you think is worrying those two guys?”

    Thanks a lot.

  2. Editor,
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    Re: John Steinbeck, "Of Mice and Men"

    It reads OK, but couldn't you relax a bit on things and leave it a bit more idiomatic? It has lost something of the Steinbeck for me.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    Re: John Steinbeck, "Of Mice and Men"

    Please post your questions only once. Two threads on the same question can lead to confusing answers,

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