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Of Mice and Men Final Analysis We’ve read the novella, now let’s analyze!

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1 Of Mice and Men Final Analysis We’ve read the novella, now let’s analyze!

2 What’s an archetype? Good question! Good question! (noun) an original model or pattern (noun) an original model or pattern (literary term) The first symbols of humankind that have replicated themselves in stories throughout the ages and across all cultures (literary term) The first symbols of humankind that have replicated themselves in stories throughout the ages and across all cultures Archetypes appear in the stories of groups from cavemen to 21st century authors Archetypes appear in the stories of groups from cavemen to 21st century authors The term “archetype” was coined by Karl Jung who used them as the basis of “collective unconscious” theory. The term “archetype” was coined by Karl Jung who used them as the basis of “collective unconscious” theory.

3 More on Archetypes There are common archetypal plots, character types, and patterns There are common archetypal plots, character types, and patterns They are common across all cultures and are embedded in our past experiences They are common across all cultures and are embedded in our past experiences For example, the most common archetypal character is that of the hero. He/she usually must: For example, the most common archetypal character is that of the hero. He/she usually must: endure some sort of ritual or test endure some sort of ritual or test go on a journey go on a journey perform a task perform a task save the day save the day

4 Of Mice and Men Archetypes Wise fool – mentally inferior but is able to bring out the best/worst in others Wise fool – mentally inferior but is able to bring out the best/worst in others Eve (as in Adam and Eve) – female who succumbs and brings sin and death to the world Eve (as in Adam and Eve) – female who succumbs and brings sin and death to the world A hero/king – Shows leadership qualities and a deep understanding of others A hero/king – Shows leadership qualities and a deep understanding of others The “every man” – a character to which we can all identify. The “every man” – a character to which we can all identify. Small character who overcompensates Small character who overcompensates Character facing racism Character facing racism Character facing ageism Character facing ageism

5 Archetype Quotes Wise fool = Lennie: “I don’t like this place George…” Wise fool = Lennie: “I don’t like this place George…” Eve = Curley’s wife: “When I’m doing my hair sometimes I just sit and stroke it cause it’s so soft” Eve = Curley’s wife: “When I’m doing my hair sometimes I just sit and stroke it cause it’s so soft” Small man = Curley: “You tried to throw a scare in to Slim and you couldn’t make it stick…Your as yellow as a frog belly.” Small man = Curley: “You tried to throw a scare in to Slim and you couldn’t make it stick…Your as yellow as a frog belly.” Racism = Crooks: “Well, you keep your place then nigger. I could get you strung up…” Racism = Crooks: “Well, you keep your place then nigger. I could get you strung up…” Ageism = Candy: “I’ve had him since he was a pup. God he was a good sheep dog when he was younger..” Ageism = Candy: “I’ve had him since he was a pup. God he was a good sheep dog when he was younger..” Hero = Slim: “You hadda George, I swear you hadda” Hero = Slim: “You hadda George, I swear you hadda” Everyman = George: “An I got you. We got each other, that’s what give s a hoot….about us..” Everyman = George: “An I got you. We got each other, that’s what give s a hoot….about us..”

6 What’s up with the title? Scottish poem “To a Mouse [on turning her up in her nest with the plough]” (Robert Burns, 1785) Scottish poem “To a Mouse [on turning her up in her nest with the plough]” (Robert Burns, 1785) What’s a plough? What’s a plough? Where was this nest? Where was this nest? What do you think happened to the mouse? What do you think happened to the mouse? Who’s in charge in this situation? Who’s in charge in this situation? What connection can you already see to the novel? What connection can you already see to the novel? Think Lennie....hmmm.... Think Lennie....hmmm.... How are mice and men similar? How are mice and men similar? How are mice and men different? How are mice and men different?

7 Of Mice and Men Tone What’s tone, you ask? Why, it’s the author’s attitude towards the subject matter! What’s tone, you ask? Why, it’s the author’s attitude towards the subject matter! How does Steinbeck feel about Lennie? How does he feel about George? How does Steinbeck feel about Lennie? How does he feel about George? What is Steinbeck’s view on the economical and societal climate of the time period? (Think “The Flood” from our author study!) What is Steinbeck’s view on the economical and societal climate of the time period? (Think “The Flood” from our author study!) Which characters does he cast in a good light? Which characters does he cast in a good light?

8 Of Mice and Men Tragedy A classic tragedy entails... A classic tragedy entails... A main character falling from high stature A main character falling from high stature A main character who faces a reversal A main character who faces a reversal A flaw in the main character that leads to a downfall A flaw in the main character that leads to a downfall Who is our main character? What is his flaw? Who is our main character? What is his flaw? What requirement does our main character miss? What requirement does our main character miss? Does this make you like him more or less? Does this make you like him more or less?

9 Let’s talk style! Steinbeck is known for his simplistic, understated style Steinbeck is known for his simplistic, understated style Word choice is easy to understand Word choice is easy to understand Brief but compelling descriptions of characters and setting Brief but compelling descriptions of characters and setting Steinbeck’s topic choices are complex Steinbeck’s topic choices are complex Companionship, love, racism, ageism, loneliness, struggles Companionship, love, racism, ageism, loneliness, struggles How does he do it? Pack so much meaning in so few words? We feel it....but why? How does he do it? Pack so much meaning in so few words? We feel it....but why?

10 Setting as Symbols Ask yourself what purpose the setting serves Ask yourself what purpose the setting serves Ask yourself what happens in the setting Ask yourself what happens in the setting Ask yourself what broader meaning different element of that setting could have on a broader level Ask yourself what broader meaning different element of that setting could have on a broader level Find evidence to back up your idea Find evidence to back up your idea If you can prove it, you can use it! If you can prove it, you can use it!

11 Let’s practice setting as a symbol The pool by the river The pool by the river What is the purpose of this place? What is the purpose of this place? What are all of the events that happen here? What are all of the events that happen here? Elements of this place: Elements of this place: Water Water Brush Brush Nature Nature Animals Animals Why did the author choose to have the events happen here? Why did the author choose to have the events happen here?

12 Symbolism Ask yourself what purpose the item has in the novel and whether it is something negative or positive Ask yourself what purpose the item has in the novel and whether it is something negative or positive Ask yourself what common characteristics are associated with the item in the novel and regularly Ask yourself what common characteristics are associated with the item in the novel and regularly Ask yourself which character is associated with the item Ask yourself which character is associated with the item Ask yourself what meaning this item has to this character and if it’s different for one character versus another character Ask yourself what meaning this item has to this character and if it’s different for one character versus another character What does this item stand for to the characters? To the reader? What does this item stand for to the characters? To the reader? Find evidence to back up your idea Find evidence to back up your idea If you can prove it, you can use it! If you can prove it, you can use it!

13 Let’s practice other symbols! Rabbits What purpose do the rabbits serve? Where do you find them in the novel? Do they have a negative or a positive connotation in the context of the novel? What character is associated with them? What attitude does this character have towards them? How do other characters feel about them? What attributes are commonly associated with them? Is this the same for the character or different?

14 Foreshadowing Foreshadowing is when an author has given the reader clues to what is going to happen You can’t analyze foreshadowing until the end of the novel! Let’s figure out what the clues were for each of these events: Death Killing Secret hiding place

15 Theme topic – Weakness and Human Nature One of the themes is that a part of human nature is to show one’s own power and some times those of us who would be considered stronger prey upon those that are weak. How do each of these characters fit this life lesson? George Crooks Curley’s Wife

16 Theme Topic – Loneliness and Isolation Another theme is that our lives are vastly improved if we are lucky enough to have someone to share them with. How does the author demonstrate this through... Candy Crooks Curley’s Wife

17 Theme Topic – Unfulfilled Dreams A last major theme in the novel is the idea that a goal is vital to our existence even if one is never able to reach the goal. This is demonstrated through these characters... Lennie George Candy Curley’s Wife


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