Of mice and men

  • Created by: joduffy
  • Created on: 20-04-15 15:04

Character: Lennie

Lennie Small

- A large man

- Mentally handicapped / disadvantaged / disabled

- Hopes to tend rabbits and live with George

- He is forgetful

- Likes to pet soft things

- Oblivious / unconcious to rules

- Innocent

- Extremely strong

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Character: George

George Milton

- Small man with quick wits and sharp brain

- He shares a dream with Lennie to own a farm

- Needs Lennie so he won't be lonely

- Gets mad at Lennie but always regrets it

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Character: Curley


- Boss's son

- Violent man, likes to fight

- Short, feels threatened by large guys

- Wears a glove filled of vaseline

- Posessive of his wife

- Uses his wife to increase his status

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Character: Candy


- Loves his dog, extremely upset when Carlson shoots it

- Lost his hand and so is disabled. Knows eventually he will be fired and doesn't want to be

- Lonely and isolated

- Wants to join George and Lennie's dream

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Character: Slim


- Natural leader of the ranch workers

- Quiet and dignified

- Slightly mysterious

- Very rational

- Happy to kill if its needed

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Character: Curley's wife

Curley's Wife

- Doesnt have a name - property of Curley

- Young

- Seems flirtatious

- Didn't really want to marry Curley, wanted to be a movie star

- Representation of how woman were treated by men in society

-Not a single character has sympathy for her

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Character: Crooks


-  Black stable hand

-  Not allowed to sleep with the other ranch hands or spend free time with them

- Not neccesarily linked to story but necessary for an idea of racism and how society treats him

- Enjoyed torturing Lennie - not a wholly pleasant character

- Has an injured back and permanent

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Theme: Fate


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Theme: Lonliness


- 'Soledad'= means loneliness in Spanish

- Steinbeck saying that it all ends in lonliness and death

- each character is isolated - even George is isolated as has to look after Lennie. Lennie is lonely in his illness

- Crooks insists on being alone as he feels safer from discrimination

- Carlson doesn't understand emotions

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Theme: Dreams


- Every character has dreams and are used as an escape

- 'The American Dream' George and Lennie want to work for themselves

- Crook's is cynical of dream (perhaps from discrimination)

- Just fantasy without possibility of coming true?

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Theme: Friendships and Relationships

Friendships + Relationships

- George and Lennie seem to have a close friendship but the irony is that George kills Lennie at the end

Their friendship is unique and different. George benefits from Lennie as he is someone to talk to.

- Curley and wife's relationship is loveless. He considers her a trophy wife/ posession.

- Migrant workers move from ranch to ranch and struggle to maintain permanent relationships

- Although it may be expected the characters lower down the social heirarchy to form an alliance, instead they attack each other which shows the harsh reality of 1930's.

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Themes: Religion


Steinbeck takes idea of Easter story of Jesus

Friday - Alive and arrive at ranch

Saturday - hope as they are going to get ranch

Sunday - Lenny kills curleys wife, Georgge kills lenny . There is no ressurection

Steinbeck showing that there is no heaven, hope, God OR trying to say that society is doing this to us and that we could change

Opening lines - religous setting, garden of Eden

Lennie carries death around with him (dead mice)

Steinbeck could be saying we are born evil and that we can change our society and characters to become better people OR we are born evil and we always ultimately end up being violent

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Plot: End

Ending of Novella

- George is supported by Slim, two men with capacity of companionship. This creates an image of hope/Heaven/possibility of change. HOWEVER Steinbeck doesn't end novel there he ends on Carlson and Curley ->  they cannot understand/ consider/ understand why George is so sad. Is Steinbeck leaving on this sentence to show there is no hope?

- Could see George as most noble character. He gives up his own hope of heaven/dream by killing Lennie.

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Set in 1930's, at time of the Great Depression

 - Migrant workers


- Line from Robert Burn's poem

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