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Of Mice and Men – Section Six

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1 Of Mice and Men – Section Six
Students are expected to have read the entire book before working with this presentation. This icon indicates that teacher’s notes are available in the Notes Page. For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation. This icon indicates that a useful web address is included in the Notes page. This icon indicates the slide contains activities created in Flash. These activities are not editable.

2 Plot summary exercise Complete the plot summary by filling in the blanks: Lennie arrives at the _________ and has a drink. He imagines his Aunt Clara and then a gigantic _________ telling him off. ___________ arrives and talks to Lennie. He has Carlson’s _______. George hears the men approaching. He _________ Lennie in the head. river rabbit George gun shoots

3 Quiz This is a fun quiz, revising key elements of the plot, with the questions becoming more difficult as the quiz progresses.

4 Echoes of the first scene
Steinbeck makes this last scene echo the first one, by using phrases and images that are similar in both. Find some instances of this technique and write them on the board. Here is one example to help you. Section One Section Six 'A water-snake slipped along on the pool, its head help up like a little periscope.' 'A water-snake glided smoothly up the pool, twisting its periscope head from side to side.'

5 Echoes of the first scene
Why do you think Steinbeck uses this technique in the last section of the novel? It strengthens the sense of the novel having come full circle. Just as in nature, where animals are born, live and die, so too do humans. Throughout the book, we have seen animal images used in connection to Lennie. Now, like Candy’s dog, Lennie is ‘put out of his misery’. Steinbeck chooses to finish his story in the same place that it started. The novella has shown us the brief life, and death, of one man.

6 Lennie In this final section, we see more of Lennie’s character. The reader has a strong sense of foreboding about what will happen to him. Answer the questions below to test your understanding of Lennie’s character. Look at the way Lennie drinks from the river in this section. Why is this different from the way he drinks in Section One? What do you think the significance is of the two visions Lennie has? Why do you think Steinbeck chooses to have George shoot Lennie at the end of the book, rather than one of the other characters? Lennie remains an outsider throughout the novel, different to and separate from other people. What is Steinbeck saying about how society relates to outsiders?

7 Character descriptions
This activity allows students to explore alternative interpretations of George and Lennie’s characters by selecting those adjectives most appropriate for each character. There are no right and wrong answers. Students should be encouraged to discuss their choices and compare the decisions they make now to the descriptions of George and Lennie they created after reading the first section (slides 12 and 13, Of Mice and Men – Section One).

8 In the hotseat This activity asks students to answer generic questions from the perspectives of different characters in the book. This helps the students to explore the characters in detail, using their imaginations.

9 Dramatic tension There is a high level of dramatic tension in this section, as we reach the climax of the novel. The tension becomes especially high as George builds up to shooting Lennie. Find some quotations from this section that develop the dramatic tension. An example has been provided for you. 'And the shouts of the men sounded again, this time much closer than before.'

10 Dramatic tension What is it about the way that Steinbeck writes this scene that creates a high level of dramatic tension? Here are some ideas: The story of the ‘dream farm’ is repeated again. This time, though, the reader knows that there is no chance of George and Lennie fulfilling their dream. George must shoot Lennie rather than allow the men to hurt him - he is forced to kill his closest friend. The other men are getting closer, and George must shoot Lennie before they arrive. The sound of the men approaching increases the tension, leading to the climax of the section.

11 The American Dream The themes of the novel are resolved in this section, particularly the men’s unfulfilled ‘American Dream’. Answer the questions below to show your understanding of this theme. Look at how Candy responds to Curley’s wife’s death in the previous section. Why does he start to cry? Now look at Lennie and George and their final discussion about the farm. Why is this the subject of the last conversation that they ever have? Do you think they ever stood a real chance of achieving their dream? What point do you think Steinbeck is making about the American dream?

12 The title The title Of Mice and Men comes from Robert Burns’ poem ‘To a Mouse’. The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men                             Gang aft agley, An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,                             For promised joy. How are these lines relevant to the book? Gang aft agley can be translated to ‘often goes wrong’. The whole of Burns’ ‘To a Mouse’ can be found at Students could be asked to consider the relevance of the poem as a whole.

13 Questions 1. Why do you think George shoots Lennie?
2. When George shoots Lennie, of which other incident in the book does this remind you? 3. Why do you think Steinbeck echoes the earlier incident in this way? Try to think of more than one reason. 4. What do you think the significance is of Slim inviting George to go for a drink at the end of the book?

14 Revision Students must decide if each statement is true or false and drag it into the appropriate box. This is a useful activity for exam preparation as well as a suitable introduction to the next slide looking at revision strategies.

15 Revision strategies This exercise exposes students to a number of strategies which could be used to revise for the OMAM exam question. They are asked to prioritise the strategies by highlighting them as essential, useful or not useful. There are no right or wrong answers. This activity can be used with any exam text.

16 Essay questions The novel Of Mice and Men shows the reader how characters who do not fit into society are destroyed by it. Discuss this statement, referring closely to events in the novel. Write a detailed analysis of the character of Curley’s Wife, showing how and why Steinbeck uses her to develop the theme of the outsider in Of Mice and Men.

17 Essay questions Discuss the theme of the ‘American Dream’ in Of Mice and Men, looking at all the characters who have a dream of some type. Explore what happens to people’s dreams in the novel and what Steinbeck might be saying about this theme. Write a detailed analysis of the character of Lennie. Look particularly at the symbolism associated with him, and the meanings that Steinbeck creates.

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