10 of the Greatest Underdogs in Literature

Lennie Small, Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck can’t seem to write anything but underdogs — his backlist is full of the poor, the failing, and the unlikely to succeed. Often, since he’s a realist, they don’t — but that doesn’t make them any less wonderful to read about. We could have chosen many of Steinbeck’s characters, but we love poor, simple Lennie, whose own sweetness is his undoing.