English Literature

Of Mice and Men

Inspector Calls

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  • Created by: Olujoke
  • Created on: 07-05-11 10:56

Revision Notes

George stays with Lenny -his simple minded friend, to beat loneliness.

George is intelligent and behaves like a parent towards Lennie.

He accepts many responsibilities and is very realistic about life.

He has a dream to own a land where Lennie would be able to tend his rabbits.

Lennie loves to pet soft things like hair or rabbits, as he finds it comforting.

Lennie is devoted to George and their vision of the farm.

He possess great physical strength.

He acts spontaneously which gets him and George into trouble numerous times.

Although Lennie is purely innocent, he is still capable of great violence for he lacks the ability to control himself physically.

He shares a dream with George of owning a piece of land. He is obsessed with once aspect of the dream: having a small rabbit hutch where he can tend rabbits.

He is incapable of making decisions alone and relies on George entirely.

Curley is the son of the ranch owner.

He is very aggressive, boastful and cocky with an unstable temper and a tendacy to provoke conflict with the weak, as he does with Lennie.

Curley is pugnacious and treats his wife badly.

He spends a great deal of time monitoring her as he believes she'd go off with other men when she is not under his supervision.

Curley's wife is generally considered to be a tramp by the men at the ranch.

She's a major character whom Steinback doesn't give a name, perhaps because she is a woman, therefore is not important.

She dislikes her husband and feels desperately lonely at the ranch for she is the only woman and feels isolated from the other men, who openly scorn her.

She still holds some small hope of a better life, once wanting to be a movie star but ended up marrying Curley.

Her plans to reach out to the men on the ranch backfired and she won the reputation of a flirt.

Her body language is provocative.

She is nameless, she's a symbol. She has no funcation. She is self obsessed and selfish.

Crooks is the only black man on the ranch. He is aware of this and as to accept casual racism from the others.

He is very lonely.

However, he is very intelligent and as a scornful manner thathe uses to prevent others from inevitably excluding him because of his race.

He has a permanent home on the rance - he is trusted and respected for his skill with the horses.

He is crippled with a twisted back.

Candy is a minor character.

He remains attached to his aging dog until it was killed.

Candy is a passive man unable to take any independent action.

He has dreams of a better future which he shares with George and Lennie.

The themes:

Most of the characters exhibit signs of desperate isolation.

Candy's immediate attachment to George and Lennie's plan to settle on their own farm can be seen as a natural emotional progression following his loss. He now looks for companionship as his dog his dead.

Crooks and Curley's wife also show signs of desperate loneliness.

Each of them are isolated because of a special mistreatment.

Because Crooks is black, he is shunned by the other men.

Curley's wife also spends her days hounded by her mean husband. She is very lonely as the only person she can talk to is her husband, Curley.

Fate is felt most heavily as the character's aspirations are destroyed as George is unable to protect Lennie.

Of Mice and Men focusses on plights of poor migrant workers searching for hope and the American Dream. During the time of the Great Depression, many people lived in poverty and struggled to find employment and had to resort in travelling from ranch to ranch in search of it.

Steinback's characters are often powerless due to the economic and social circumstances. Economic powerlessness is established as many of the ranch hands are victims of the Great Depression.

George, Candy and Crooks wish to purchase a homestead, but because of the Great Depression, they are unable to generate money.

The novel is set in a time when people had less social compassion than we do now. They would have been able to care for Lennie if the circumstances had improved but since they couldn't, the real danger of Lennie's mental handicap comes to fore.

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