Friday, March 2, 2012

Of Mice and Men: Lit Analysis

1. Of Mice and Men by John  Steinbeck is about two friends named George and Lennie, they are going to a new job to work on a ranch.  George is a shorter man but very smart and witty, on the other hand Lennie is a bigger stronger man but slow on the intellectual side. We learn Lennie has a mental disabilty and George is the one who has to take care of him.  There are sometimes when George feels life would be easier if he didn't have Lennie, but its obvious their friendship and devotion is mutual. The men arrive at the ranch and George tells the boss that the two of them are cousins and Lennie was kicked in the head by a horse when he was young.  They are hired and meet the workers for the first time a short period after that. George admits to Slim that he and Lennie are not cousins and they are best friends.  He tells him that Lennie has gotten them into trouble in the past, like their last job where he got accused of rape.  Candy gives in to the pressure and lets Carlson kill his old dog. Curley picks a fight with Lennie and in the altercation Lennie breaks his hand.  The next night the men go out and Lennie is left behind with Crooks and Curleys wife.  While in the barn Curleys wife approaches Lennie in the barn, he tells her he likes to pet soft things and starts petting her hair.  He pulls to hard and she starts screaming and in an attempt to quiet her he snaps her neck.  Lennie leaves to the spot where George told him to go if he got into trouble.  George meets him there a short time later and doesn't seem mad but just talks to his best friend.  While his head is turned he puts the gun to his head and kills his friend out of mercy.  When the rest of the people get there, they are confused on what had happened as Slim and George walk off.
2.  One thing in this novel is friendship and how much of an impact it can have on people. The friendship between George and Lenny is very strong and is the closest thing to brothers either of them have.  They both have one another's best interest in mind, protect each other, and know that there is someone in the world who is dedicated to looking over them.  They each have a dream that brings their friendship even closer and that dream is what shapes their life.  Even though there is a tragic end to the story, there is still no doubt that their friendship is as strong as ever at the end of the story.
3. The tone for Of Mice and Men is both sentimental and tragic.  It is sentimental in the fact that the audience starts  to gain compassion for Lennie and then there is a plot twist towards the end.  The audience feels bad for Lenny and that's why there is a sentimental tone to it.  It is tragic because right when you get a sense that things are starting to go right for George and Lenny, there is a turn in the story that brings a sense of failure for their life.
4. One literary technique that is used often are symbols. One symbol is George and Lennie's Farm and this is what their dream is.  It also seduces all the characters in the story and it also makes the reader want to believe that there is the possibility of a free life.  The farm gives a sense of freedom and protection from the outside world.  There is also foreshadowing and one example from the book is when Lennie is petting the dead mouse at the beginning of the story.  We learn that he likes to pet soft stuff and ends up killing some animals.  At the end of the story he accidentally kills the bunny which leads to his downfall and eventually his death.

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