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Of Mice and Men English Language Exam

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1 Of Mice and Men English Language Exam
To be able Identify and Name Steinbeck’s Techniques and fully Explain how they influence the reader

2 What techniques are you looking for?
Choice of words: specify - verbs, adjectives, adverbs Similes, metaphors and personification Repetition Colour Imagery Appealing to the Senses Short sentences Symbolism – e.g. light and dark / red = danger etc. Contrasts and Parallels Use of Dialogue: Personal pronouns, curses, dialect, exclamations, questions, pauses, imperatives

3 Identify the Technique
“On the sand banks the rabbits sat as quietly as little grey sculptured stones.” (Section 1) Simile Steinbeck uses a simile to describe the rabbits as sitting “as quietly as little grey sculptured stones”. This helps to emphasise the stillness of the landscape before the two men appear to disturb it.

4 Identify the Technique
‘"Lennie!" he said sharply. "Lennie, for God' sakes don't drink so much.”’ (Section 1 – Geroge to Lennie) Exclamation The use of Georges exclamation “Lennie!” emphasises his frustration with Lennie at this point.

5 Identify the Technique
‘“You never oughta drink water when it ain't running, Lennie," he said hopelessly.’ (Section 1 – George to Lennie) Adverb When George instructs Lennie about drinking the water, we are told that he spoke “hopelessly”. This adverb connotes the simplicity of Lennie’s character, suggesting that George realises that Lennie will never learn from such instructions.

6 Identify the Technique
‘"So you forgot that awready, did you? I gotta tell you again, do I?’ (Section 1 – George to Lennie) Use of questions The use of questions in George's dialogue at this point, for example, ‘"So you forgot that awready, did you? I gotta tell you again, do I?’, reinforces his frustration with Lennie, for needing constant reminders.

7 Identify the Technique
‘“I remember that... but... what'd we do then? I remember some girls come by and you says... you says...“’ (Section 1 – Lennie to George) Pause / ellipsis The use of ellipsis in Lennie’s dialogue, “I remember that... but... what'd we do then?” illustrates his simplicity, as he struggles to remember the events of weed.

8 Identify the Technique
‘A light of understanding broke on Lennie's face. "They run us outa Weed," he exploded triumphantly.’ (Section 1) Powerful verb When Lennie finally remembers what happened in Weed, Steinbeck tells us that he “exploded triumphantly”. The verb “exploded” is powerful in demonstrating Lennie’s childish excitement at getting something right.

9 Identify the Technique
“’We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us. We don't have to sit in no bar room…”’ (Section 1 – George to Lennie) Repetition of personal pronoun When describing the dream, Steinbeck fills George’s dialogue with the pronoun “we”, for example, ‘“We got a future. We got somebody to talk to”’ and ‘“We don't have to sit…”’This repetition helps to reinforce the friendship between the two men and their unusual arrangement of travelling together.

10 Identify the Technique
‘"Hide till I come for you. Don't let nobody see you. Hide in the brush by the river.”’ (Section 1 – George to Lennie) Repetition / use of imperatives Steinbeck often shows George repeating instructions to Lennie, such as ‘"Hide till I come for you. Don't let nobody see you. Hide in the brush by the river.”’ This helps to reinforce his caring role, as he tries to help Lennie overcome his simplicity. The imperative “Hide” further emphasises George’s parental role in the relationship.

11 Identify the Technique
‘at his heels there walked a dragfooted sheepdog, grey of muzzle, and with pale, blind old eyes.’ (Section 2 when describing Candy’s dog) Adjectives Steinbeck uses several adjectives to describe Candy’s dog, for example, “drag-footed”, “grey”, “pale”, “blind” and “old”. There is a definite emphasis on the age of the dog, suggesting that this is going to be a significant aspect of its role in the novel.

12 Identify the Technique
‘Both men glanced up, for the rectangle of sunshine in the doorway was cut off. A girl was standing there looking in. (Section 2) Symbolism of light/darkness It is significant that when we first meet Curley’s wife, Steinbeck tells us that “the rectangle of sunshine in the doorway was cut off.” This is an example of the writer’s use of light and darkness in the novel. If light represents hope and dreams, then it is significant that Curley’s wife cuts off that light.

13 Identify the Technique
‘She had full, rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes, heavily made up. Her fingernails were red. Her hair hung in little rolled clusters, like sausages. She wore a cotton house dress and red mules…’ (Section 2) Colour imagery/symbolism Steinbeck fills his physical description of Curley’s wife with references to the colour red. ‘She had full, rouged lips’, ‘her fingernails were red’ and she wore ‘red mules’. The colour red could be seen to suggest her sexual and passionate nature, however, it is also a colour associated with danger, perhaps hinting that Curley’s wife poses a threat to George and Lennie.

14 Identify the Technique
‘George looked over at Slim and saw the calm, Godlike eyes fastened on him.’ (Section 3) Adjectives Steinbeck emphasises Slim’s respectability and even-mannered nature through the adjectives “calm” and “Godlike” when describing his eyes. Associating Slim with “God” highlights the very high status Slim has on the ranch.

15 Identify the Technique
‘A shot sounded in the distance. The men looked quickly at the old man. Every head turned toward him.’ (Section 3) Short sentences Steinbeck uses short sentences to inform the reader of Candy’s dog’s death, an example being, ‘A shot sounded in the distance.’ These help to create tension and also highlight how quickly a life can end.

16 Identify the Technique
‘"Get him, Lennie.”’ (Section 3 – George to Lennie when Curley is attacking him) Imperative George’s use of the imperative “Get him, Lennie” is an example of George’s power over Lennie, who has tried desperately not to fight back. One simple command from George is all it takes for him to act.

17 Identify the Technique
“A water snake glided smoothly up the pool, twisting its periscope head from side to side” (Section 6) Metaphor Steinbeck parallels his description of the water snake in section one, depicting it “twisting its periscope head from side to side”. The use of the metaphor, highlights the need for caution and ever present danger in the natural world. The fact that the heron “plucked it out by the head” and ate it, clearly foreshadows Lennie’s imminent death.

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