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“Who Moved my Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson

People have various visions of changes and usually perceive them differently. Some react aggressively and do not want to communicate with anybody, the others begin to complain about their hard and unfair life. Some people like changes, they look optimistically at them and do not afraid, as think that changes are always for the better. The story under consideration “Who Moved my Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson is a great allegory to the situations of changes that usually occur in business life and introduces different reactions to these changes.

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Starting reading the book, it seems that the fairy-tale for children is introduces, but thinking globally, the real meaning of the story is rather deep and true to life. The story is about two mice Sniff and Scurry, who live in one maze with Hem and Haw, who are the small representatives of humanity. Living on the same territory, in the maze, their aim was to find their special cheese and to live a long and happy life. From the first pages of the book, the difference in the behavior between mice and people is observed. Looking for the cheese, mice relied on their smell abilities, but as they lived in the labyrinth, they were usually faced with walls and were frequently lost. The mice’s desire and insistence are observed.

Considering Hem and Haw’s behavior, the author strengthens that they behave as simple people, they think as people and they are guided by people’s beliefs and emotions. The emotions made their life more complicated and challenging in the maze. Searching for the cheese, they thought as people and analyzed the previous mistakes, they did not face the same walls as they tried every day the new ways.

One day the cheese was found. Mice walked to their great piece of cheese every day, routinely repeating one and the same action for a long time. People vice versa, having found the cheese thought that they will never have to look for the other one and just were delighted with life. Such life led to the fact that they have lost vigilance and did not come for the cheese every day, they took for granted that the cheese will be present always. The difference in the behavior in reference to cheese of mice and small people, shows the difference of the characters and the reaction to the same situation.

The trouble was when the cheese has disappeared once. Mice, who went to see the cheese every day, have noticed that it becomes smaller and were ready for its disappearance. People were unprepared, they dread that this cheese will always be, and that they will never have to search for the other. Having noticed the cheese disappearance, mice just took their things from the place where cheese was laying and began to search for a new cheese, without suffering for the loss. Hem and Haw were shocked when they see that their cheese was missed. They began to cry, to yell, and scream where the cheese was moved and who did it. Considering people’s behavior, it is significant that they were very upset, they did not want to do anything, and they just walked around and cried about unfair life.

The story may be read as simple entertaining telling, but still has a very significant meaning. The story dwells upon people’s behavior and reaction to changes in the company. Two types of people are represented in the story, those who easily perceive different changes and those who remain in panic for a long time and sometimes even cannot depart from the shock. The whole story is a metaphoric reflection of different notions which are connected with the business.

To be more specific, the different issues in the text should be criticized. The whole maze is like the company, where people work. The cheese is the symbol of people in the company, people we want to communicate with, parents and relatives, all that we want and desire most of all. Career, the aim to reach the higher level in the company all this is the “cheese”. There are people, who have received something, stop working, they think that the possession of this or that item will last forever, that the communication with the person will be always possible in spite of any facts, that the position, which is occupied now, will be his or her position till the very person’s decision to leave and such people stop doing anything to improve themselves or to develop.

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The discussed type of people is shown through Hem and Haw in the story. The reaction to changes of such people is the disappointment and blame of the situation. Having lost the position, having been dismissed, such people begin to think that life has stopped and nothing may be changed. Weeping and screams about injustice in the world is their only reaction.

Hem and Haw type of people may be also divided into two types. Some people, who were weeping for some time, begin to realize that life continues and that everything is not so good as it may seem from the first time.

The other type of people and their reaction to change is shown through Sniff and Scurry. Such people always try to follow the situation and with any signs of change they start thinking about further actions. Being ready for something to change, their reaction to the change is not so depressing. When people prepare themselves for the change, they perceive it as proper and start working in new direction easily, without any panic or blaming. The other type of people are those who ever change, they are unable to see the priorities of the situation and all they do is just the continuous blaming of life for unfairness, without understanding that people are the creatures of their happiness.

The story is rather educative and maybe a great example for those who have appeared in the situation like that or may appear, as people are not safe from different changes and it is impossible to predict what is awaited for all of us in the future. In conclusion it may be added that all situations should be perceived without panic and disappointment, as all which happens is happens for the better and all the situations have their ways out. Having been captured unpredictably, people should relax and look at the problem from the other point of view, without panic and evaluate all pros and cons of the situation. The story shows that situation when different reactions to the change took place and how people went out of the situation, what they gained and what lost. Watching the end of the story, everybody may conclude for him/herself what direction of actions to choose.


Johnson, S. (2000). Who moved my cheese?: an amazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York.

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"“Who Moved my Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson." StudyCorgi, 29 Oct. 2021,

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StudyCorgi. "“Who Moved my Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson." October 29, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "“Who Moved my Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson." October 29, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) '“Who Moved my Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson'. 29 October.

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