REVISING OF MICE AND MEN: FOUNDATION

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1 Exam Information and Advice Section B: Diverse Cultures The whole exam is 1 hour 45minutes and you should spend around 45 minutes on this section. For this section you will be given a choice of two questions, one will usually be on theme and one on character. There will be a clean copy of the book on your desk in the exam for you to use when answering the question. Question Breakdown So one question will always be on a character One way to answer this is to think of six events that involve the character, describe them and say why the character was so important in them. However, this can often lead to simply retelling the story something you should avoid. The examiner knows the text really well! The other way is to think of six themes that they are involved, and say how and why and what this adds to the book. (ie Curley is prejudice towards people who are bigger than he is. This is because Steinbeck uses him as a metaphor for the way people sought power in a powerless society.) The other question will be on theme This is easier, just think of the ways the theme is shown in the book and most often this can be done by listing the character who most represent the theme. (ie Death: Lennie, Curley s Wife, Candy s dog, George, Carlson) Try to think of six this will make sure you write enough for the exam. Don t forget to mention life in 1930s America You should aim to write 8 paragraphs Introduction Character/theme/event 4 Character/theme/event 1 Character/theme/event 5 Character/theme/event 2 Character/theme/event 6 Character/theme/event 3 Conclusion Each of the paragraphs (except the introduction and conclusion) should follow the PEA format. Point: Your statement about the character/theme/event Evident: The quote you used to support the idea Analysis: What Steinbeck shows us about the character/event/theme and how that affects, and where possible, what that shows us about the time in which the book was written. Steinbeck uses the friendship of George and Lennie in order to show how lonely life was at the time. Their friendship contrasts everyone else who George believes are the loneliest guys in the world. Steinbeck shows that life, travelling from ranch to ranch, could be lonely and that what George and Lennie have is special. This helps us to like and admire them.

2 Practice Essay Questions 1. Explore how Crooks is affected by the people around him in the novel In your answer you must consider: o Crooks word and actions o How Crooks is treated by others o Crooks reaction to hopes and dreams 2. In what ways is the American Dream significant in the novel? o Characters who have dreams o The types of dreams characters have o How realistic the dreams they have are 3. Explore the significance of Curley in the novel o Curley s words and actions o How Curley treats other people o Why you think Curley acts this way 4. Why the shooting of Candy s dog significant in the novel? o The relationship between Candy and his Dog o What the shooting of the dog represents or predicts o How Candy and his dog are similar 5. Explore the reasons why Slim is important in the novel o Slim s words and actions o Slim s relationship with others o How Slim contrasts with Curley 6. In what way is the theme of friendship significant in the novel? o People with friends in the novel o People who have no friends in the novel o Why people found it hard to make friends

3 7. In what ways is Curley s wife significant in the novel? o Curley s wife s words and actions o The way other people talk about and treat her o Curley s wife s hopes and dreams 8. Explore the significance of loneliness in the novel o Characters who are lonely o The reasons characters are lonely o How ranch life makes characters lonely 9. Why is the setting of the novel significant? o The different places the novel is set in o How those places affect the actions of the novel o Why those places are important 10. Explain the importance of Candy in the novel? o Candy s words and actions o The friendship between Candy, his dog and George and Lennie o Candy s hopes and dreams

4 Sample Essay: C Grade In Steinbeck s novel Of Mice and Men, the characters are described as Lonely Dreamers. Lennie and George are two men who go to work on a ranch. They encounter many complications. Crooks one of the ranchers wanted to be equal to the others. Candy is a poor old swamper who is depressed of friends and Curley s wife wants to be a film star but can t, so they all suffer and therefore dream and are lonely. George Milton is a lonely dreamer who has a friend named Lennie Small who is very immature and George is an outcast between the ranchers. The company of Lennie makes George feel lonely and make a picture in his mind about a dream-come-true ranch. George has no quality conversations with someone of his own age, because Lennie is very immature. I get to tend the rabbits. George Milton dream a lot. He always keeps on complaining that he had to look after Lennie but if he didn t he could go an make fifty bucks by working in another job. He could then use the money and go buy something he likes, or go to a whore house. George was definitely dreaming because he wasn t going to leave Lennie alone and please his own will, he tells Lennie what he feels: An when the end of the month came I would take my fifty bucks and go to a.cat house George was not allowed to leave Lennie, runaway and get money, it is impossible because George promised Aunt Clara and he would feel guilty to leave Lennie who doesn t know how to handle things. George was in a very hard position. Lennie didn t have much of a family except George who scolds Lennie all the time. If George had a fight with Lennie then Lennie would feel very lonely and have no one to talk to. When Lennie became friendly with George then he would be very happy because he would know that he has George and George has Lennie to look after each other, so he expresses his feelings towards George: Because..because I got you to look after me and, you got me to look after you, and that s why. Since them both had each other then Lennie didn t feel lonely and so had someone to talk to. IT was George s job to look after Lennie so they had to stick together. Lennie small has dreams like us. George thinks of having a dream garden and keeps on telling Lennie about it because Lennie wants to tend the rabbits so he keeps on wanting to hear about the garden. He also wants to hear about what all is going to be in the garden so Lennie is imagining all of this because he won t get the dream garden so he asks again: Go on; George! Tell about what we re gonna have in the garden and about the rabbits in the cages and about the rain in the winter and the stove. Lennie really likes animals and soft things so he really wants to pet the rabbits and experience the rain in the winter while he is in his imaginary garden. Crooks is a very lonely man because he doesn t have many friends and is a victim on racial prejudice. Since Crooks has no one with him he always sits up at night getting bored and not doing anything just thinking ok companionship, equality, how lonely he is, what and outcast he is and how racist others are towards him. Since he is a black man and the others are white. He then expresses his feelings: A guy sets alone out here at night, maybe readin books or thinkin or stuff like that. Since Crooks is so lonely he is really sad because he finds it very hard to make friends and act the same as the others.

5 Candy is one of the ranchers who is lonely too and like George and Lennie doesn t have any relatives with him. Even Candy doesn t have many friends. Candy is also old so he thinks that one that he will die and leave his belongings with Lennie and George since Candy doesn t have anyone else. Candy tells Lennie and George: I d make a will an leave my share to you guyz in case I kick off, cause I ain t got no relatives nor nothing. Candy really wants to go away since he doesn t have anybody with him. So he always thinks how unlucky he is and how deprived he is of his family. Since Candy doesn t have much company in the bunk house he hears Lennie and George talking about their imaginative ranch which Candy finds very nice and would like to live on a ranch like they want to. So Candy is prepared to do something in the ranch and share some property so he adds in saying: S pose I went in with you guys. Tha s three hundred am fifty bucks I d put in. I ain t much good, but I could tend the chickens. Candy was so upset about his life so he really dreams of doing things but can t because it is too difficult for him, but would like to do something with others. Curley s wife is in a really bad shape since she has a horrible husband and no one likes her because of the way she acts and dresses, for e.g. she flirts with the ranchers, wears bright red lipstick and nail polish and so everyone wants to keep their distance from her. She only has a poor old dog to give her company since her husband is so mean to her so she complains: Why can t I talk to you? I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely. She is really upset with her life and is miserably lonely. She is one of the rejects, because of who she is. She has a bad attitude and dresses up really badly, also the way she talks is very annoying. Since Curley s wife is so lonely she dreams a lot. She thinks she is so great and too thinks that she is so beautiful that she can get any guys she wants and get married or dance with him. She dreamt that she danced with her dream- come- true man and so repeated her dream: Nother time I met a guy, an he was in pitchers, went out to the Riverside Dance Palace with him. She thinks that her life is full of miseries so she desires many things especially having a better husband and becoming a film star. Lennie, George, Candy and Curley s wife are lonely dreamers. Lennie and George get a lot of ideas from dreams and so think that the dreams can come true. They think that dreams can also cause them to solve their problems. Candy is such a lonely sweeper that he thinks that his dreams will help him. Since Curley s wife has no company she dreams and so her day goes faster. So if somebody is lonely, they dream, then their moods would improve and so they start thinking about other things. Dreaming helps a lot of people.

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