Pre-AP English I, Period Of Mice and Men Study Guide. Literary Terms

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1 Name Pre-AP English I, Period Of Mice and Men Study Guide Date Literary Terms CHARACTERIZATION: Find an example of Steinbeck's use of characterization to describe three of the following characters. Then identify each example as either indirect or direct characterization. George Lennie Candy Crooks Slim Curley Curley's wife Which characters are dynamic? Which characters are static? Which character(s) has(have) an epiphany? Which character serve as a foil, and to whom? Which characters are flat? Which characters are round? Which character(s) are stock characters? ALLUSION: From where did Steinbeck get the title for this novel? Explain the significance of the novel's title to its plot, and how it is an allusion. What other title did the author consider using? Would it have been as effective? IMAGERY: List at least three examples of sensory images from the novel that you found particularly effective. To which of your senses does each appeal?

2 LITERARY STYLE: Write a brief definition of each literary style (writing style) that Steinbeck employs in this novel, as well as an example of each from the novel. a. b. CONFLICT: List an example from the novel for each of the following types of conflict. EXTERNAL: MAN VS. MAN EXTERNAL: MAN VS. SOCIETY INTERNAL: MAN VS. HIMSELF SETTING: Most of the action in this novel takes place in what three simple settings? List each below and explain the significance (how does the setting affect the action) of these simple settings for this novel. a. b. c. PLOT: Chart out the following elements of this novel's plot. A. Exposition B. Rising action C. Climax D. Falling Action E. Resolution SYMBOLS: Describe the significance of the following symbols. HANDS (Lennie's, Candy's, and Curley's) RABBITS

3 CROOK'S NAME GEORGE S LAST NAME LENNIE'S LAST NAME CURLEY'S WIFE'S LACK OF A NAME DICTION: Is Steinbeck's use of colloquial language effective in this novel? Why or why not? Find at least three of your favorite examples of diction that highlight Steinbeck s masterful use of the English language. List the word or phrase, and explain the effect that Steinbeck s word choice had on you, the reader. a. b. c. THEMES: List evidence from the novel for the following motifs and themes. LONELINESS AND/OR ALLIENATION FRIENDSHIP/LOYALTY/SERVICE TO OTHERS ABOVE SELF THE AMERICAN DREAM/GARDEN OF EDEN (ROMANTICISM/IDEALISM) BEST LAID PLANS.../SNAKE IN THE GARDEN (REALISM) TRAGEDY: A simplified version of Aristotle's definition of a tragedy is a play about a basically good man, important to society, who suffers a fall brought about by something in his nature, provoking the emotions of pity and fear in the audience. Who would be the tragic hero of this novel? In what ways does Of Mice and Men resemble a tragedy? In what ways is Of Mice and Men NOT a tragedy? In a tragedy, the central character usually comes to some kind of understanding or new recognition of what has happened to him--is this true of this novel?

4 FORESHADOWING: List at least two examples of foreshadowing for this novel, and explain what event each one foreshadows. SUSPENSE: How does Steinbeck create it? POINT-OF-VIEW: What point-of-view does Steinbeck employ in this novel? PARALLELISM: What parallels exist in the novel? ALLEGORY: How is this novel an allegory? List at least two characters from the novel, along with their allegorical representations. Understanding the Novel Part 1 1. Contrast George and Lennie in terms of physical characteristics and personality traits. 2. In what ways does Lennie meet George's need for a companion? In what ways does Lennie fail to meet George's need? 3. Describe George's dream and George's and Lennie's dream. Which details suggest that the dream of the farm is unrealistic? 4. How do some of the other characters in this novel try to overcome loneliness? What do you think are good ways for people to stop being lonely? Part 2 5. How does Candy's account of Whitey's quitting the ranch contribute to the book's mood of alienation? 6. When Curley gets angry with Lennie for not speaking, how does George react? Does this surprise you? Why or why not? 7. Can you think of some other character in a book you have read, or a movie you have seen, who was threatened by a bully? How was the problem resolved?

5 8. Describe Curley's wife in terms of physical characteristics and personality traits. Why does George warn Lennie away from her? 9. Why do you think George decided to camp in the clearing the night before (risking the their new boss s anger), arriving at the ranch when most of the men were away working? Part Why does George trust Slim? 11. Look back at the conversation between George and Slim how did George treat Lennie in the past? What made him stop? BE specific. 12. What caused George and Lennie to leave Weed? Do you think that George's assessment of events is accurate? 13. Explain the connection between Lennie's dead mouse in Part 1 and what happened in Weed. 14. Analyze Carlson's reasons for and Candy's reasons against shooting Candy's dog. How do they touch on the central issues of the novel? 15. Relate George's description of their farm to the novel's theme of a romantic Eden. 16. What comparisons does Candy make between his own condition and his dog's? How does this reinforce the theme of responsibility in the novel? 17. Why does Curley start beating Lennie? How did Lennie finally stop Curley from hitting him? What do you predict will be the consequences of this scene? 18. Why do you think George wants to keep their plan to buy land a secret? Part What does the description of Crooks's room reveal about its occupant? SPECIFICS!

6 20. Describe how Crooks experiences racism in his everyday life on the ranch. Give at least three specific examples from this chapter. 21. How does Crooks feel about his uninvited company? Support your answer with evidence from the text. 22. How do Crooks's words to Lennie about loneliness reinforce this theme? 23. Show how Candy's comments to Crooks and Lennie relate the dream of the land to Steinbeck's theme of economic exploitation. 24. How does Crooks initially react to Lennie and Candy when they tell him about their dream to own land? How does he change his mind later? How does Curley's wife change his mind yet again before the end of this part of the novel? SUPPORT YOUR ANSWERS WITH TEXTUAL EVIDENCE. 25. What is the difference between the way Candy sees himself in this scene and the way Curley's wife sees him? How does Curley's wife's opinion influence Candy's behavior and self-confidence? 26. What motives does Steinbeck suggest for Curley's wife's behavior? Part How is Lennie's treatment of his dead puppy typical of his character? 28. How does an innocent longing for human contact lead to catastrophe? 29. How does Lennie react to what he has done (killing Curley's wife)? 30. How does Curley feel about his wife? Support your answers with textual evidence. 31. What reason(s) might Steinbeck have for NOT giving Curley's wife her OWN name?

7 32. Do you believe that people should always follow a leader when quick action is needed? Why or why not? Part Describe Lennie's state of mind as he goes to hide in the brush. 34. Which details show that Lennie does not suspect that George is about to shoot him? List at least three. 35. Which details show that even in this horrible situation George is NOT a cruel man? List at least three. 36. Do you think George does the right thing? Why or why not? BE SPECIFIC. 37. Explain the significance of the last line of the novel. 38. How did the author attempt to force / coerce you to feel empathy or sympathy for one or more of his characters? 39. Was some of the language offensive or necessary to maintain the atmosphere and the nature of the characters? Explain your answer. 40. Are moral dilemmas such as George s common? Are most people faced with making decisions that are as difficult as George s? How does Steinbeck allow the audience to naturally connect with this character and this dilemma?

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