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Intro: Of Mice and Men
Agenda Share Freewrites Lecture: Intro to Of Mice and Men Annotating a text Read: Of Mice and Men as a class Annotate HW: Answer question packet
John Steinbeck John Steinbeck was born February 27, 1902 He grew up in Salinas, Ca by farms, the forest, and the sea He spent many summers working on ranches
Connection to the land Salinas came to be known as “The Salad Bowl of the Nation” Steinbeck was compelled to write about his beautiful surroundings
Naturalist Writer Steinbeck is one of America’s greatest Naturalist writers Naturalist writers focus on: –Explanations & details –Social conflict –Specific occupation/trade –Fate
Naturalism: Explantions and Details Naturalism avoids figurative language Instead it focuses on explaining things as they are Tries to be an objective (non-judegmental) observer of events The sky is blue with white clouds.
Social Conflict Explored the conflict between social classes (rich & poor, the powerful vs. the powerless) The ranch in the story can be seen as a “microcosm” (miniature world) of America
Specific Occupation Naturalist writers create stories on one specific occupation They investigate the actual lives before writing Almost like a news story or textbook Steinbeck focused on migrant farm workers Lettuce Farm, Salinas, 1935
Fate The reader is an observer Watches how the characters, thrust into certain situations, deal with what fate presents They cannot avoid their fate, no free will
Context Of Mice and Men was published in 1937, in the midst of the Great Depression. Hunger, poverty, homelessness and joblessness were all widespread.
Theme is… the central or dominant idea behind the story; the most important aspect that emerges from how the book treats its subject. Sometimes theme is easy to see, but, at other times, it may be more difficult. Theme is usually expressed indirectly, as an element the reader must figure out. The author implies a theme while the readers infer its meaning
Theme continued It is a universal statement about humanity, rather than a simple statement dealing with plot or characters in the story. Themes are generally hinted at through different methods: a phrase or quotation that introduces the novel, a recurring element in the book, or an observation made that is reinforced through plot, dialogue, or characters.
Theme in Of Mice and Men The following are topics of themes in Of Mice and Men: The American Dream Loneliness and Isolation Nature of Friendship
The American Dream If you work hard, you’ll have a good job, family, and a large house The Great Depression crushed the dreams of many Steinbeck set out to document this
Loneliness/Isolation Many of the characters are lonely/isolated Each in their own way –Race –Gender –Intelligence –Social Class Look for examples of this
Nature of Friendship As you read the book ask: –What does being a true friend mean? –What would you do for a friend in need? Ultimately, Of Mice and Men is about the power of friendship