Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
Evan’s ESS = 6 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = out of 10
Content = PG-13 (Violence, Language, Adult Content, Discriminatory Tall People)
Why: This novel has many enduring qualities and the relationship between George and Lennie is touching. As soon as you…… Okay, okay, we have to get something off our chest. Why does John Steinbeck have to introduce the concept of “short man’s complex”? Why? We don’t know the history of this phrase or care, but many people trace its origins back to this novel and subsequent screen play. What exactly is short man’s complex? Yes, we know what’s being insinuated, but honestly people. Does this mean that if you’re tall it’s socially acceptable to have an attitude? Would this be called tall man’s complex? What if you are overweight and possess a less than agreeable disposition? Do you have fat man’s complex? What if you have three nipples and regularly engage in assertive discourse. Is this extra nipple man’s complex? Being assertive and having a diminutive stature are mutually exclusive traits. Curley, from the novel we’re supposed to be reviewing, is short and happens to need anger management classes. Yes, some people overcompensate in their personality to hide character traits, but honestly, even if they were able to magically grow, lose weight, or surgically remove a nipple, our guess is that their attitude would remain problematic. In short, if everyone would take the time to think before casually brandishing someone as having “short man’s complex” the world would become a better place (Additionally, we should see a positive impact on global warming).
Whew, now that we’ve got that off our chest, back to Of Mice and Men… Actually we’ve completely lost our train of thought. Read it, don’t read it. We don’t care either way.
Editor’s note: Not knowing where the height or attitude thresholds are that would qualify someone as having short man’s complex, Evan visited his family practitioner just to be on the safe side (Is this affliction common on the female side?). After a thorough examination, several labs, and a series of rabies screenings, we are happy to report that no traces of “short man’s complex” were found anywhere in his blood stream. On a less encouraging note, a third nipple was spotted below his left breast.