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‘Of Mice and Men’: Everything in the novel happens in cycles

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Presentation on theme: "‘Of Mice and Men’: Everything in the novel happens in cycles"— Presentation transcript:

1 ‘Of Mice and Men’: Everything in the novel happens in cycles
Lewis Moore and Emma Wakeley

2 The daily routine is cyclical
Everything that happens in ‘Of Mice and Men’ happens in a cycle. This is shown by their daily routine because they do the same thing everyday. They wake up, work and then go to bed. Occasionally however, they go out on a Saturday night but on most occasions this routine goes round in circles. “guys like us, that work on ranches , are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don’t belong to no place. They come to a ranch an’ work up a stake, and the first thing you know they’re poundin’ their tail on some other ranch.” This is a quote of George confessing to how they live their lives and it shows us how the life of a migrant worker is already made up for them, they just have to follow it. Each time they try to change what happens and think things have changed it’s easy to see they haven't when you put it in perspective.

3 The daily routine is cyclical
It seems to be quite a uninteresting life which they wouldn’t lead if it wasn’t for their huge belief in the American dream. The thought of owning your own ranch and working for nobody but themselves is what keeps them going. This is the dream George often repeats to Lennie which shows the desire they both have for an easy life that isn’t made up of going round in circles.

4 Lennie killing things happens in cycles
Lennie is a bear like man but has a mind like a child. Lennie likes soft things like fur and hair. The first thing he kills is a mouse because he pets it too hard and it dies. He doesn’t mean to kill it but he doesn’t know his own strength. “You know God damn well what. I want the mouse.” This is George trying to get the dead mouse off Lennie because he is petting it even though it is dead. This shows that Lennie is like a child and George is like his father because George is looking after him and telling him what to do. It also shows that George cares about Lennie because he doesn’t want him to be petting a dead mouse. The second thing he kills when petting its fur is a puppy. The third thing he kills is Curley’s Wife when he is stroking her hair. Each time it happens again, the thing he kills gets bigger and bigger.

5 Lennie and George are stuck in a cycle of getting into trouble
Lennie and George getting in trouble happens in a cycle. In the beginning we hear about what happens in Weed when Lennie got into trouble because he felt a girl’s red dress and wouldn’t let go when she panicked. Later on in the book Lennie also loses control again when he crushes Curley’s hand. He relies on George to tell him what to do but when his mind shuts down he panics and cannot control what he does. This implies that we can expect him to get in trouble again towards the end of the book. He then ends up killing Curley’s wife which prompts them to run away from the ranch. “I should of knew, I guess way back in my head I did.” This shows us that George realised that everything kept repeating and that Lennie kept getting into trouble over and over again. George therefore ends up stopping the chain by killing Lennie thus ending his suffering and the never-ending cycle.

6 The killing of ‘dumb’ creatures with no quality of life
Lennie is a ‘dumb’ creature with no quality of life because he doesn’t remember anything that happened “I tried not to forget. Honest to God I did, George.” This shows that he is ‘dumb’ because he can’t remember anything that George has said. There are also many examples in the book of when he can’t remember what has been said or done. Candy’s dog is old, deaf, suffers from rheumatism and has a very poor quality of life. He is therefore killed in the book to put him out of his misery – just like George kills Lennie at the end of the book.

7 The killing of ‘dumb’ creatures with no quality of life
Curley’s wife is also a ‘dumb’ creature with no quality of life because she lets Lennie stroke her hair after she has seen what he has done to Curley’s hand (doh!”). “Course I brush it a lot. That makes it fine. Here - feel right here.” She tells Lennie to stroke her hair. This also shows that she is vain because she is telling him that her hair is fine and before this she is saying how nice she is and that her hair is really soft. She has no quality of life because she is ignored the whole time and is in a loveless marriage that makes her feel worthless. Because of her rubbish life she gets bored and ends up trying to cause trouble. “well, you keep your place, Nigger. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain’t funny.” This shows she is trying to cause trouble because she is threatening Crooks.

8 The structure of the novel
Steinbeck used the structure of the novel to show how boring and repetitive the life of a migrant worker was by repeating a number of events. He repeats the killing of the animals: it shows how Lennie’s killings were building over time to when he eventually killed Curley’s wife. The killings happened over and over again getting bigger each time to give a clue of what was to come. He repeats them meeting in the brush: the book started and finished in the same place. He repeats the telling of the dream. “Tell us again ‘bout the dream” seems to be the daily ask from Lennie which he uses as reassurance. All these events have no real importance as they are all “something that happened” which was going to be the original title of the story. Everything that has happened and been repeated was typical for migrant workers so it was not significant.

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