Of Mice and Men is a Depression-era novel written by John Steinbeck, centering around two friends trying to save up enough money to start their own ranch and no longer be under the thumb and employees. George, the more business minded, also watches over Lennie, whose slow wit tends to affect their grand plans.

The book is critical of the American Dream, and all dreams in general, suggesting that they are, quite often, ultimately futile.

In Lost

  • Sawyer is seen reading the book while in prison.

    Sawyer passes time by reading Of Mice and Men.

    Later on, Sawyer mentions the book, and Ben quotes a line about loneliness as he reveals to him that they are on Hydra Island. ("Every Man for Himself")
  • Sawyer can be compared to Crooks and Curley's Wife in the book. Due to the traumatic experience from his childhood, he became very bitter and distant (similar to Crooks). Due to his fearful nature, in the beginning, most people on the island do not confront him or initiate any intersection with him what so ever (similar to Curley's Wife).
  • A track on the season 4 soundtrack is called "Of Mice and Ben." It plays during a montage of various characters on the island and freighter, concluding with Ben approaching and being knocked out by Keamy. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 1")
  • Three years later, Sawyer tells the Man in Black that Steinbeck is his favorite author. The Man in Black says he has never heard of the book as it is "after [his] time," and Sawyer describes the book and its ending, in which George shoots Lennie in the head. He then draws his gun and threatens to do the same thing to the Man in Black, who talks him out of it. ("The Substitute")

In the Lost Experience

  • Steinbeck, the writer of the novel, was one of the passwords to enter the real Retrieversoftruth.com website.

Other Similarities and Shared Themes

  • One of the central themes in the novel, and in the show (especially pertaining to Sawyer) is isolation and finding a place to fit in in the world when you are different. Ben emphasizes this point across when he shows Sawyer they are on a smaller isolated island, talks about his suppressed emotions towards Kate, and then quotes the book: "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."
  • In the novel, the character Lennie has frequent dreams and visions of rabbits. The episode seems to reference this in Sawyer's psychological torture scene.
  • The last line is "Now what the hell ya suppose is eatin' them two guys?" suggesting that compassion is important, as two antagonists in the book speak these lines together. This is used to parallel the episode, where Sawyer (uncharacteristically) shows compassion in both the flashback and the present.
  • In the novel, the characters play horse shoes, which is similarly seen in the episode "The Other Woman". Hurley appears to beat Sawyer, in a way similar to how Crooks beat the rest of the characters in the novel.
  • As described above, Sawyer describes the novel's violent ending to the Man in Black, then attempts to recreate it. The Man in Black talks him out of it.
  • Similar to the novel, both The Island and the Ranch have a very diverse group of character that have unique personalities that greatly influence the plot of their own story.


  • John Steinbeck has written numerous novels, one of which is entitled The Pearl.
  • John Terry, who plays Christian Shephard, has the role of Slim in the film adaptation.
  • In the 1992 film adaptation actors Gary Sinise and Ray Walston portray George Milton and Candy. They also appear together in the TV miniseries The Stand, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name which has been confirmed as a major influence to Lost.
  • A track on the Season 4 soundtrack is titled "Of Mice and Ben", as a reference to this book.

See also

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