Detailed Of Mice and Men Revision Notes

Detailed analysis of characters and quotes. 

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  • Created by: IndiR
  • Created on: 17-06-13 19:03
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John Stienbeck
Of Mice and Men is a novel that portrays how human spirit sill lives on despite being
systematically crushed as a consequence of depressed circumstances.
Stienbeck illustrates with the help of companionship, that dreams can prove prevail
in the face of all forms of adversity be it unemployment, isolation or even death.
George and Lennie's personal dream of becoming independent and owning a ranch is
a microcosm of the American Dream.
Colloquial phrases such as `aint' and `brung', representative of language used by
ranch workers at the time, add a sense of realism therefore having a stronger impact
upon us as readers.
Curley's Wife:
Although some might say that Curley's wife is a troublemaker who knows no limitations when it
comes to flirting with the other men, I believe she is just lonely which leads to her desperate actions for
companionship as she does not find any at home, with her husband Curley. She appears to have
married Curley to escape from this tragic loneliness that is eating her up inside. He however, has failed
to satisfy her needs, both emotionally and physically leading her to seek solace from the other men
who would rather not know.
Key Quotes:
"Her body flopped like a fish" ­ This simile suggests that Curley's wife is powerless against her
own body as a flopping fish is in a weak state until it eventually dies. Fish are also vulnerable creatures
as they are prayed upon by humans and other bigger animals indicating that Curley's wife is helpless
which hints at the fact that she will not recover from her current state. It shows that any character in
the book or society that demonstrates any signs of weakness are quickly eliminated suggesting the role
of the powerful against the weak in the great depression.
"Why can't I talk to you? I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely." Curley's wife is
regularly expressing the fact that she feels lonely to anyone who'll listen. It seems to be one of many
manipulative tactics that she carries out in a way of getting people to feel sympathetic towards her.
"They left all the weak ones here" ­By her lashing out at Lennie, Crooks and Candy, she is
attempting to make up for the fact that no one is interested in her exploiting her weakness which she
tries to mask by taking her loneliness out on those who are in no position to defend themselves.
However, her cruel remark towards the men of lower status, also applies to herself which could
suggest that she knows her place in society and accepts it since trying to prove herself will make no
real difference.
She highlights the chauvinism and male supremacy of the time as she is just a possession to
Curley's wife is never given a name and is only referred to in reference to her husband as his
property which emphasizes her second class citizenship. This gives the reader an insight into
the position of women in America at the time and shows how equality wasn't achieved.
Other characters despise Curley's wife and all the trouble she drags along with her which is
shown through the use of their derogatory terms towards her such as `lousy tart'. She can be
interpreted to the readers as a villain or a victim.
Steinbeck paints women in a negative light and makes them sound hazardous since Curley's
wife is the reason for Lennies death (the whole downfall of the American Dream) and why
Curley can't trust Slim.

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Curley's wife embodies the theme of disappointed dreams and loneliness which we are forced
to notice as she constantly admits to it.
She has power over Crooks since he is lower than her in hierarchy.
At one point in the novel she is described as wearing a `red dress' which foreshadows what is
to come for Curley's wife as the lady in Weeds was also wearing a red dress.…read more

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I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you." From the very start of the
novel, we learn how George and Lennie depend on each other. Their friendship makes them strong.
The balanced sentence echoes the equality of their friendship. Even though some argue that Lennie
depends on George more than the other way round, Lennie is vital to George for companionship.…read more


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