Sawyer reading Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

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Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Episode appearances:
Season 6, Episode 4: "The Substitute"
Season 3, Episode 4: "Every Man for Himself"

Of Mice and Men is a great American novel about love and loneliness, feeling displaced and rootless, and two friends who have nothing but each other. The book may also suggest that dreams are, quite often, ultimately futile.

The first time we see Sawyer reading John Steinbeck is in prison in Season 3, Episode 4, "Every Man for Himself." Then Sawyer cracks a joke that Ben, his captor, would like Of Mice and Men because a "puppy gets killed." Later, Ben shows his prowess by quoting a line Sawyer doesn't recognize: "A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. It don't make any difference who the guy is, so long as he's with you. I tell ya, I tell ya, a guy gets too lonely, and he gets sick." The quotation is an interesting contrast to the episode title—and yet another reverberation of the show's "Live together, die alone" philosophy.

In Season 6, Episode 4, "The Substitute," we see Sawyer and Fake Smoke Monster Locke walking though the jungle. Sawyer asks: "My favorite Steinbeck—Of Mice and Men—you know that one?"

Fake Smoke Monster Locke: "Nope, a little after my time."

Sawyer: "It's about these two guys—George and Lenny. Lenny's kind of slow, causing George problems. So George walks him out in the woods and tells him to look out yonder and picture the pretty little house they're going to live in one day, and he shoots George in the back of the head."

Fake Smoke Monster Locke: "Well, that doesn't sound like a happy ending."

Sawyer: "It isn't."

Check out the complete works of author John Steinbeck