Presentation on theme: "Of Mice and Men Metaphors. Often, authors won’t actually come right out and say what some of the main issues of the story are. That would just be too."— Presentation transcript:
Of Mice and Men Metaphors
Often, authors won’t actually come right out and say what some of the main issues of the story are. That would just be too easy, and it would take away from the power of the readers’ “journey” through the story. They need to “hide” the meaning in characters and situations, just like in OM&M
Metaphors Recognizing these, and discussing them are important in understanding some of the issues that are presented in the story. Steinbeck, we can say, uses metaphors to portray deep meaning in this story. However, it is important to understand what a metaphor is before we do this….
Metaphors So, what is a metaphor? an analogy between two objects or ideas, conveyed by the use of a word instead of another The type of metaphor that Steinbeck uses is called an “allegory.”
Allegory An allegory is very powerful, and also a little confusing, because of its use. It is… An extended metaphor wherein a story illustrates an important attribute of the subject
How allegory is used Steinbeck often experimented with this style of metaphor in his stories. Of Mice and Men is a story, often called a fable, in which people and characters have a symbolic meaning intended to convey a message. Let’s have a look at one of the messages/allegories that many critics are very quick to point out…
Story of Cain and Abel The story of Cain and Abel, when used within the context of OM&M, is called a Biblical allegory. Who is familiar with the story?? What are the major points??
Story of Cain and Abel This is the story of two brothers, the sons of Adam and Eve. The story raises the question of the responsibility which men, as brothers in the family of man, must take for each other. When Cain was trying to hide from God the fact that he had killed his brother, he asked, “Am I not my brother’s keeper?”
Story of Cain and Abel A long time ago, just after Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden of Eden, they were very sad about disobeying God. They asked God how they could show Him how sorry they were. God told them that they could show Him how they felt by sacrificing a lamb, which they did. After awhile, Adam and Eve had two sons. Their first son was called Cain and their second was called Abel.
Story of Cain and Abel Cain was a farmer. He grew vegetables and grains. Abel was a shepherd who looked the family's herds. Cain and Abel were like most siblings -- they didn't always get along. But they were brothers and loved each other very much, despite their occasional fights. Adam and Eve (their mom and dad) told Cain and Abel about the message God gave them that they should sacrifice a lamb to God.
Story of Cain and Abel This would show how much they appreciated all He'd done and how sorry they were for their sins. Abel was very concerned that his sacrifice be special to God. He chose his first and best lamb and offered it to the Lord. It was hard for Abel to give up his most prized possession, but it was important to him to try his best to do as God had asked.
Story of Cain and Abel Cain thought his little brother was a bit silly for giving up his best lamb. "Good grief," he thought. "We need that lamb, God doesn't. I'm sure He'd be just as happy if we sacrificed the runt of the litter. In fact, why does it need to be a lamb at all? I'm a farmer and it's been a great year for my wheat crop -- I can't use everything I've grown. Why don't I just burn some of the extra straw I have. That way, I won't be wasting any."
Story of Cain and Abel Cain watched as the lamb burnt up completely on the altar, while his left over straw just smoldered a bit and never really caught fire at all. That could mean only one thing! God preferred Abel.
Story of Cain and Abel Cain was jealous! He didn't take the time or the responsibility to realize that it was his decision to sacrifice straw that caused the difference in God's response to their sacrifices. Instead, he just got angry at his brother. Cain asked Abel to go for a walk with him, and while he was still angry, Cain struck Abel to the ground and killed him.
Story of Cain and Abel When Cain realized what he'd done, he was more concerned that someone might have seen what he'd done than he was sorry for his brother's death. He looked around and sighed a breath of relief that no one was nearby. And then the Lord spoke, "Cain, where is your brother."
Story of Cain and Abel Cain shrugged, "I dunno! Am I my brother's keeper?" God replied, "Cain, how could you be so cruel to your only brother. He has done nothing, but try his best for Me, for his parents... and for you." Cain fell to the ground sobbing. Finally, he felt the horror of what he'd done. And he had to live with that feeling and the knowledge that he'd murdered his little brother for the rest of his life.
Story of Cain and Abel George is not Lennie’s actual brother, although he tells the boss on the farm that he is his cousin BUT, “brother” can mean much more that fraternal relations George is in a very real sense Lennie’s “keeper”
Story of Cain and Abel Other parts of this allegory: 1.Symbolic use of names beginning with “C” these are “sons of Cain,” exiled from paradise and forced to a life of work 2.There are no names that begin with “A” Why not??
Story of Cain and Abel 3.Agricultural setting: The characters are migrant workers (sons of Cain forced tramp the earth) Farm that they plan of having for themselves is a “lost paradise” that is forever denied to them “Just like heaven. Everybody wants a little piece of lan’. Nobody never gets to heaven and nobody gets no land.” - Crooks
Other metaphors Of Mice & Men doesn’t just have the Biblical allegory It also contains many more metaphors, which are important to understand
Other metaphors What do these various characters/ situations mean within the story: Candy’s Dog Solitaire Characters with developmental disabilities The dead mouse & dead puppy Try to figure out their significance!!