English Literature - Of Mice and Men WJEC

All you need for the WJEC English Literature Unit 1 paper on Of Mice and Men. :D

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  • Created by: Jenni
  • Created on: 07-01-13 18:25

Candy

Points:

  • good natured
  • fits theme of loneliness as he is a lonely old swamper
  • used by Steinbeck to represent physically disabled and older people in the novel, as he has no hand (novel is a microcosm of society)
  • useful source of information - reader and George and Lennie learn about ranch through Candy's gossip
  • provides parallel to George and Lennie (Candy relies on his dog), and the shooting of the dog foreshadows Lennie's death (George learns from Candy's experience)
  • dream appeals to him because of the threat of being canned

Quotes:

  • "The swamper warmed to his gossip"
  • "That's the boss' son"
  • "I had him so long"
  • "I won't have no place to go"
  • "I ought to have shot that dog myself"
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Slim

Points:

  • intelligent and skillful
  • used by Steinbeck to show that all of society can be noble, dignified, respected etc
  • high status amongst others - natural leadership provides contrast to Curley's supposed authority
  • kind - understands George and Lennie's relationship
  • can draw confidences from others - we learn about Weed through his conversation with George

Quotes:

  • "he moved with a majesty only achieved by royalty and master craftsmen"
  • "prince of the ranch"
  • "invited confidence without demanding it"
  • George tells him about "what happened in Weed"
  • "you hadda George, I swear you hadda"
2 of 14

Curley

Points:

  • Steinbeck uses him to give an example of how leadership and respect is earnt
  • contrast between him and Slim
  • No respect (particularly for his wife), example of sexist attitudes
  • insensitive, cruel and selfish
  • acts arrogant, but shows hints of insecurity
  • his failure to control or understand his wife leads to Lennie's death
  • angry and violent

Quotes:

  • "that glove's fulla vaseline"
  • "I don't like Curley, he ain't a nice fella"
  • "Come on ya big *******"
  • "his glance was at once calculating and pugnacious"
  • "I didn't mean nothing Slim. I just ast you"
3 of 14

Curley's Wife

Points:

  • No name - shows low status
  • Fits theme of loneliness - can't talk to anybody (only men on the ranch)
  • Used by Steinbeck to represent sexism in 1930s America
  • Fits with the theme of dreams - dreams of being in the movies and Hollywood
  • Flirty and provocative, and naive and gullible
  • Desperate for attention
  • Lennie's death her fault?
  • Wears red - dangerous to herself and others
  • Threatening (to Crooks)

Quotes:

  • "She had full, rouged lips"
  • "Ain't I got a right to talk to nobody?"
  • "Jesus, what a tramp"
  • "A guy tol' me he could put me in pitchers"
  • "I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain't even funny"
4 of 14

George

Points:

  • George is used by Steinbeck as an everyman figure he is relatable
  • fits the theme of dreams - dream farm (Steinbeck gives pessimistic view of American dream through its failure)
  • relationship with Lennie is different to other migrant workers - reciprocal
  • often portrayed playing solitaire - foreshadows Lennie's death
  • he is Lennie's moral compass, makes him feel guilty
  • has grown as a person (used to do mean things to Lennie)
  • small, smart and sharp - thinks and plans ahead

Quotes:

  • "I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you"
  • "Hide in the brush by the river"
  • "George'll be mad"
  • "Guys like us are the loneliest guys in the world", "but not us"
5 of 14

Lennie

Points:

  • represents mentally disabled people in the novel (no welfare state)
  • relies on George to look after him
  • BUT knows how to manipulate George
  • dream represents heaven to him - dies with it in his head
  • killing of mouse and puppy, and love of soft things foreshadows Curley's wife's death
  • George and the rabbits make him feel guilty - give him a conscience

Quotes:

  • "Lennie spoke craftily. 'Tell me'"
  • "George'll be mad"
  • "He ain't gonna let me tend no rabbits"
  • "because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you"
  • "Lennie giggled with happiness"
  • "Le's get that place now"
6 of 14

H/S/C/C trigger words

  • Wall St Crash
  • Great Depression
  • dust bowl
  • migrant workers
  • Hollywood
  • American dream
  • racism
  • segregation
  • sexism
  • patriarchal society
  • No welfare state
7 of 14

Themes - Fate and Destiny

Points:

  • Title "Of Mice and Men" is taken from scottish poem by Robert Burns - "the best laid schemes o' Mice and Men, gang aft agley" (often go wrong)
  • In the book characters dreams go wrong (fate)
  • Dreams and plans never come true, there to help people survive - pessimistic view of life
  • Of MICE and Men - suggests human life is a small force pitted against the large one of destiny/fate

Quotes:

  • "he was gonna put me in the movies"
  • "Nobody never gets no land, and nobody gets to heaven"
8 of 14

Themes - Dreams

Points:

  • Dreams help the migrant workers to survive, gives them a purpose - American dream
  • George and Lennie dream of their own farm and independence - represents family, roots and security
  • Dream draws in Candy and Crooks
  • BUT Crooks gives more pessimistic view - foreshadows inevitable ending, and George is more realistic
  • Curley's wife dreams of being in the movies, but is trapped in an unhappy marriage
  • American dream was when the US took in immigrants and offered them a new country, and many people believed they would someday have their own land and be independent

Quotes:

  • "live off the fatta the lan'"
  • "nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land"
  • "I think I knowed we'd never do her"
9 of 14

Themes - Loneliness

Points:

  • Loneliness represente by many different characters - except George and Lennie
  • Curley's wife is the only female = isolated, married Curley to escape but ends up trapped in an unhappy marriage = irony, sexist, patriarchal society
  • Crooks is the only black on the farm, and is segragated - has his own room, threatened with lynching, pessimistic and cynical - loneliness makes him better (mean to Lennie)
  • Set in Soledad - means lonely
  • Everybody is suspicious of eachother - migrant workers = no time for friendship
  • George plays solitaire - foreshadows he will be lonely
  • Candy loses a friend in his dog - foreshadows ending

Quotes:

  • "tramp" and "********"
  • "I don't like Curley. He ain't a nice fella"
  • "ever'body in the whole damn world is scared of eachother"
  • "They'll take ya to the booby hatch"
10 of 14

Themes - Friendship

Points:

  • Migrant workers = lasting friendships are difficult
  • George and Lennie's friendship (reciprocal) is special because it's rare - Steinbeck constantly draws attention to this (foreshadows it won't last)
  • The shared dream binds them together, it's like a mantra (chant) - calms Lennie and is like heaven
  • George sacrifices the dream for his friend by killing Lennie
  • Shooting of Candy's loyal dog foreshadows this - George learns from this

Quotes:

  • "I ain't gonna let 'em hurt Lennie"
  • "I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you"
  • "He repeted the words rhythmically"
  • "I never been mad, an' I ain't now"
  • "I ought to have shot that dog myself"
  • "Ain't many guys travel around together"
11 of 14

Themes - Protest

Points:

  • Novel protests against 3 social and political issues of 1930s America:
    • racism (Crooks)
    • discrimination of the old and disabled (Candy and Lennie)
    • sexism and the patriarchal society (Curley's wife)
  • The ranch is a microcosm of the world - each character is used to represent something
  • Steinbeck gives a pessimistic view of the American dream through the failed dreams of the characters and Crooks

Quotes:

  • "I ain't wanted in the bunk house"
  • "I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain't even funny"
  • "Tramp" and "Jailbait"
  • "I ain't much good with on'y one hand", "They'll can me purty soon"
  • "Glove fulla vaseline" 
12 of 14

Themes - Leadership

Points:

  • Slim is used by Steinbeck to show that ordinary people can be respected
  • Slim is respectful, understanding and trustworthy - accepts George and Lennie and understands their relationship
  • He has natural authority
  • Curley only has authority because of his position
  • He is angry and aggressive, has no respect from other workers, he is disrespectful

Quotes:

  • "Carlson stepped back to let Slim precede him"
  • "Slim's opinions were law"
  • "invited confidence without demanding it"
  • moves "with a majesty only achieved by royalty and master craftsmen"
  • "his glance was at once calculating and pugnacious"
  • "glove fulla vaseline"
  • "his hands closed into fists"
13 of 14

Technique words

  • Animal/natural imagery - heron and the water snake, rabbits
  • Dialogue, dialect and colloquial language - "ffatta the lan'"
  • symbolism - red
  • foreshadowing - shooting of dog, solitaire, killing of puppy
  • narrative voice, authorial intrusion, omniscient narration - after Curley's wife's death
  • description
  • light and dark -  "the rectangle of sunshine in the doorway was cut off"
  • cyclical structure
  • metaphors and similes
  • irony
  • parallels
  • archetypes (characters represent types of people in society)
14 of 14

Comments

Robinson

Good, would be great if it didn't have spelling mistakes and replaced asterisks for the quotes, can't put "********" in a essay so not much help.

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