English Literature: Of Mice and Men Analysis Chapter One

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What does the idyllic, natural scene at the start of the novel create?
A sense of peacefulness and calm.
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How is the start peace disturbed?
By George and Lennie's arrival.
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Talk about how George feel it's going to be "nice sleepin' here" (by the pool)
It's also a bit threatening. Earlier on there was the sound of men shouting to each other and a fish was described as sinking "mysteriously" into the water.
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How does Steinbeck portray nature?
As dangerous and peaceful
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Why is it important that nature is portrayed as threatening?
Because it shows that not everything is as good as it seems.
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What is foreshadowing?
A technique used by writers to hint at something that will happen later in the story.
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What makes George and Lennie seem very childlike?
Lennie keeps asking George questions and George is leading the way down he path with Lennie following him.
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Why is it important that the bus driver the bus driver dropped George and Lennie four miles away from the ranch they were heading for?
Because it's the first sign you get that they never end up where they want to be.
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How can you tell that George and Lennie have been together for a long time? Give an example.
Because they know each other very well. George knows that Lennie is lying about having a mouse - "You ain't puttin' nothing over"
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Give examples about the comparison between Lennie and Animals in the first chapter.
He lumbers along like a bear, drinks from the pool "like a horse" and holds onto his mouse "like a terrier"
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What is suggested by Lennie being compared to only strong animals?
That he has physical strength and also has the low intelligence of an animal - he doesn't understand what's happening which makes him vulnerable.
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Talk about the description Lennie "looked widly at the brush line as though he contemplated running for his freedom" when George confronted Lennie about the mouse.
Like an animal, Lennie's instinct is to escape when he feels threatened. This reminds the reader of the rabbits at the beginning of the chapter that "hurried noiselessly for cover" when Lennie and George arrived.
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What does George have to do after he has upset Lennie by getting angry?
He has to describe the dream to soothe him.
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Which part of the dream is Lennie captivated by? Does George feel the same?
The rabbits - but George doesn't seem as enthusiastic - he cuts the story short - "I ain't got time for no more"
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What makes the dream seem unreal?
The fact George says that the rabbits on the farm would be "Red and blue and green"
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What isn't clear about George's opinion on the dream?
Whether he believes in it or not. When he gets angry with Lennie he says he would be happy without Lennie - he could "eat any place I want", drink a "gallon of whisky" and "stay in a cat house all night"
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Talk about the juxtaposition of George's and Lennie's dreams.
Lennie dreams of having a farm and looking after the rabbits while George seems to only want to be a normal man.
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What do George's range of emotions make him seem?
More realistic and gives the reader a good insight into his personality.
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Talk about George's change in emotions in chapter one.
One moment he is shouting at Lennie, the next he's comforting him. One moment he's wishing he was without Lennie, the next looking into the flames of fire - ashamed of what he's just said.
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What does George seem to know?
That he and Lennie will need to come back to the pool in the future.
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How is Lennie pinching the heads of his pet mice when they bite him (killing them) a bad omen for the future?
Because it shows that Lennie doesn't know his own strength.
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How does Steinbeck foreshadow what will happen at the end of the novel?
George and Lennie are on the run from a "bad thing" that Lennie did in Weed. George has a plan in case Lennie gets "in trouble like you always done before"
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Why is it clear that George and Lennie are taking a route that many other people have taken?
Because the path to the pool and the limb of the sycamore are well worn by "boys" and "tramps". This makes it seem that there's nothing special about them or their dream and that it will end in disappointment.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

How is the start peace disturbed?

Back

By George and Lennie's arrival.

Card 3

Front

Talk about how George feel it's going to be "nice sleepin' here" (by the pool)

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

How does Steinbeck portray nature?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Why is it important that nature is portrayed as threatening?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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