Excellent revision notes for the English exam on May 2012; Of Mice and Men

For the students who are preparing for the English Exam: The Writer's Craft (5EH2H01) this month, here are some great revison notes for the upcoming exam which will surely get you and A/A*. I'm about to take this exam in 2 weeks myself and it's helping me a huge lot :)

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  • Created on: 18-05-12 20:44
Preview of Excellent revision notes for the English exam on May 2012; Of Mice and Men

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Of Mice and Men Theme Quotes
In this novella, friendship isn't discussed heavily. George and Lennie don't talk about how
they feel about each other or why they should stay loyal ­ they just stand by each other. It's
a very harsh and rough atmosphere, and though feelings aren't talked about, we get the
sense that the men take nothing more seriously than their friendship. For George and
Lennie, as they make their way through the Depression, all they have is each other.
LENNY: "I was only foolin' George. I don't want no ketchup. I wouldn't eat no ketchup if it
was right there beside me."
GEORGE: "If it was here, you could have some."
LENNY: "But I wouldn't eat none, George. I'd leave it all for you. You could cover your beans
with it and I wouldn't touch none of it." (1.93-95)
Even after this awful fight, the men's friendship has a simple and remarkable earnestness.
George grudgingly knows he's wrong and in fact really loves his friend, and even though
Lennie can't express it in a terribly complex way, he loves George back.
*Earnestness: Showing depth and sincerity of feeling.
*Grudgingly: Unwillingly.
GEORGE: "Guys like us that work on ranches are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no
family. They don't belong no place."
LENNY: "That's it--that's it. Now tell how it is with us."
GEORGE: "With us it ain't like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a
damn about us. We don't have to sit in no bar room blowin' in our jack jus' because we got
no place else to go. If them other guys gets in jail they can rot for all anybody gives a damn.
But not us."
LENNY: "But not us! An' why? Because... because I got you to look after me, and you got me
to look after you, and that's why." (1.113-116)
This is a pretty timeless definition of friendship: somebody to listen, somebody to bail you
out of jail, and most importantly, somebody that cares and looks out for you. It's notable,
too, that though George is the one who usually gives the speech, he's clearly worked in the

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Page 2

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Again, George is a friend (and not a
father or a master) because he is so willing to admit that he needs Lennie too.
CANDY: "Well-hell! I had him so long. Had him since he was a pup. I herded sheep with
him." He said proudly, "You wouldn't think it to look at him now, but he was the best damn
sheep dog I ever seen." (3.56)
Candy has the same feelings toward his dog that George has toward Lennie.…read more

Page 3

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Innocence has many different functions in Of Mice and Men. When we first realize Lennie
has a mental disability, he can be described as having a childlike innocence. His attitude
towards the world and others is tempered with a simplistic, childish, and often warm view.
Innocence also functions as the opposite of guilt. Lennie, perhaps linked to the first notion
of "childlike innocence," is presented as a sympathetic character in spite of his constant
failings.…read more

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GEORGE: "If we don't like a guy we can say, `Get the hell out,' and by God he's got to do it.
An' if a fren' come along, why we'd have an extra bunk, an' we'd say, `Why don't you spen'
the night?' An' by God he would." (3.209)
The men have the physical freedom to move where they please, going from job to job, but
freedom is bigger than just being able to wander.…read more

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CURLEY: "I'll try to catch him."
NARRATION: His eyes passed over the new men and he stopped. He glanced coldly at
George and then at Lennie. His arms gradually bent at the elbows and his hands closed into
fists. He stiffened and went into a slight crouch. His glance was at once calculating and
pugnacious. Lennie squirmed under the look and shifted his feet nervously. Curley stepped
gingerly close to him.
CURLEY: "You the new guys the old man was waitin' for?" (2.…read more

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CURLEY'S WIFE: "Listen, Nigger."
"You know what I can do to you if you open your trap?"
NARRTATION: Crooks stared hopelessly at her, and then he sat down on his bunk and drew
into himself. (4.116-117)
Curley's wife rankles at being asked to leave Crooks's room. Her prejudice is a last resort of
sorts ­ she knows it's the only weapon she has to assert that she's worth something.…read more

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Of Mice and Men is set in a male environment where there are three types of women: the
imagined nice girl for settling down, the prostitutes for a drink and a trick, and Curley's wife,
who is their daily representation of what to expect from the other sex. Women are a kind of
absent symbol, only there to highlight the men's failings: the men of the ranch can't settle
down, so they go to whorehouses.…read more

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NARRATION: Lennie covered his face with huge paws and bleated with terror.
LENNY: "Make `um stop, George." (3.248)
Lennie is once again compared to an animal, but this time a curious one. He has huge paws,
but he's like a baby bear outside of its mother's protection. The word "bleat" here is
poignant and powerful, as we imagine Lennie as a little lost lamb, stunned and battered by
something mean.…read more


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