The Shield

Season 5 Episode 10

Of Mice and Lem

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Mar 14, 2006 on FX



  • Allusions

    • Title: Of Mice and Lem

      The title of this episode is derived from these famous lines, "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men, gang aft agley" in verse 7 of Robert Burns' poem, To A Mouse and John Steinbeck's novel, Of Mice and Men.

      In To A Mouse, Robert Burns apologizes to a mouse for plowing down it's home as winter approaches. He reflects on the past and the nature of fate in our lives. That no matter how we plan things out, they don't always turn out the way we had originally hoped. The common saying, "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry" evolved from the poem.

      These last few lines of the poem also served as the inspiration behind John Steinbeck choosing to name his novel Of Mice and Men, which follows the lives of George Milton and Lennie Small who are migrant workers during the Great Depression. The two friends are forced to leave their home after Lennie is accused of rape. They attempt to start over at a new ranch by working and saving enough money to fulfill their dream of not having to always travel and work under anyone ever again by one day buying their own farm. This becomes increasingly difficult as the two encounter numerous obstacles in their way.

      Some of the themes in the novel are dreams, friendship/loyalty, sacrifice, and loneliness.