Of Mice and Men



Background Info


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  • Created by: Leah
  • Created on: 13-04-11 14:03


Date written: 1937

Date novel was set in: 1930's

Events in 1930's:

  • The Great Depression (Poverty and Starvation
  • Itinerant workers
  • American Dream
  • Rise in fascism in Germany
  • Segregation in America (racism)

Due to the content of the novel and the current political, economic and social situations internationally and in America readers were able to identify with the novel, which granted it success.

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He was...

  • sensitive to loneliness (theme)
  • Due to working on ranches he knew the importance of love and companionship (theme)
  • His dream (theme) was to write
  • He loved animals - nature (theme)

Did Steinbeck write the novel to gain a better understanding of his own life, as there is a parallel link to the main themes in the novel and his own life? 

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Who?...George & Lennie

Crooks - (black stable buck) &  Candy (owns dog/ swamper)

 Curley's wife & Curley (bosses son)

 Slim (jerkline skinner) & Carlson (shoots dog)

Name Relevance...Crooks (crooked back), Candy (ironic - life is far from sweet) Curley's wife - (unnamed,lacks identity.. emphasises craving for recognition and attention)  Slim- (thin, elegant figure), Carlson - (means "Man of Common People" in the American dictionary)

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What is the novel written like: a play


  • visual and dramatic
  • each chapter has one location (easy to stage)
  • entrances and exits = key moments
  • location descriptions at beginning of each chapter, gives read visual image, which are like stage design instructions

What starts and ends the novel?: nature

  • makes the novel balanced
  • starts and ends at the pool
  • starts with life and dreams, ends in death
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The text is realistic - racist comments and collequial references

Lennie is often compared and described as an animal.

Title of the book is from a Robert Burns poem.  Tells us failure is inevitable.

Place names are real.

Weed - Where George and Lennie came from: Lennie commited a bad act. Like a weed the memory of it spoils their new life on the ranch.  They had to leave weed, like them a weed is unwanted.

Soledad - means loneliness (theme)

Candy's dog is metaphoric to old age, when the dog get shot, Steinbeck is saying the old and weak get put down by society (metaphorically shot in the head).

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Language Part 2

Red = symbolic (Curley's wife wears red & girls dress in weed that Lennie clung to was red)  Red is a colour of danger, warning.  Tells us Curley's wife could be an item in a dangerious situation, which she is.

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Danielle Joshua

lennie commiited the bad act in weed - not george. but otherwise really helpful


Ah sorry typo!  i'll fix it asap

Matthew Cleverly

Good however I'm looking for information as to why Steinbeck uses these themes and entrances/exits etc... Not just the pure facts


Can you help me with my Of Mice and Men essay?

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