the writer's craft in Of Mice And Men

  • Created by: charlie
  • Created on: 06-05-13 19:35

the structure

nature starts and ends the novel

  • balanced- starts with life and dreams, ends in death 
  • Lennie described as an animal and natural to die outside 

contrast between nature and bunkhouse 

  • nature- warm, twinkling, long flowing sentences 
  • ranch- rectangular, shorter broken up sentences 

nothing goes right for G and L

  • whenever they think of a break it ends up going badly 
  • violence builds up all the time- mice-dog-hand-girl-Lennie

novel written like a play

  • entrances and exits are key moments
  • each chapter one location and set over long weekend 
  • characters have specific visual qualities
  • six chapters with 3 acts
  • denouement 
  • vernacular- specific dialect of south 
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  • no way out of their lonely tedious lives 
  • themes doomed in the novel- relationships, racial harmony, dreams,quality of life

lennie is doomed

  • unintended violence with consequences 
  • lennie 'dont know the rules' according to G
  • fits of anger

George knows trouble is inevitable

  • more intelligent but rapped in the lifestyle, knows whats happening- 'i think i knowed from the very first' 
  • tells L keep his mouth shut 
  • make emergency point- the brush 
  • wary of C wife straight away 

no one happy at the end 

  • G kills L, L kills C wife 
  • Candy- not sharing the dream with g and l
  • crooks- inferior black man
  • curley's- hand is knackered 
  • whit and carlson- always percieved as idiots 
  • slim - regret that G found L 
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  • literate magazine readers 
  • crooks reads law book 
  • language doesnt automatically express ignorant 
  • offensive only to reflect the time at which society as a whole was racist 

C wife- no name 

  • wants recognition and attention buts gets none- symbolised by name 
  • prostitues have a name and role 

place names are meaningful

  • Soledad- lonliness in spanish 
  • weed- deprives other plants of space and food (where L did a 'bad thing')

novels title is revealing 

  • quote from Robert burns poem- things often go wrong 
  • plans always fail, no matter how well planned failure is inevitable. 
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john steinbeck

  • born 1902 in salinas valleys- worked on ranches, loved animals, had a dog 

sensitive to loneliness

  • lived the life of the ranchers
  • sensitive to loneliness and knew the importance of love and companionship 

book keeps getting banned

  • 1990's- language, racism,questioned morality,violence 

novels point: 

  • outline to predatory world 
  • Darwinism- survival of the fittest 
  • naivety 
  • impossible American dream 
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world of the 1930's

american society was racist 

  • segregation 
  • common language used 
  • lynchings without trial of balck men 

nightmare american economy 

  • 1920's- economic boom- low unemployment, low inflation, low interest rates
  • wall stree crash 1929- 1930's economic depression- overfarming, poverty, banks 
  • american dream dead- no equality or persuit of happiness- rich rich and poor poor 

hollywood on a rise 1920's and 1930's 

  • Curley's wife like many dreamt of becoming a movie star
  • became mass entertainment
  • 1927- first talking picture released 
  • escapism from reality of depression 

FDR and the 'new deal' 

  • relief, recovery and reform (1932)

world was in a mess 

  • economic depression affected EU 
  • steinbeck wrote in 1937- civil war spain, nazi becoming in power - WWII brewing 
  • about world increasingly filling with chaos- story was something everyone could relate to. 
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