Of Mice and Men By John Steinbeck. Genre Of Mice and Men is a novella, meaning a small novellonger than a short story, shorter than a novel. Steinbeck

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Biographical Information John Steinbeck Born in Salinas, California Enrolled in Stanford University in 1919 and attended through 1925 but never earned a degree Worked the fields while in college picking strawberries, lettuce, sugar beets and broccoli Moved to NY and worked as a journalist and a laborer Published his first book Cup of Gold (1929) Got married and moved back to California Earned fame and financial security with his book Tortilla Flats (1935) Most famous work- The depression era novel- The Grapes of Wrath

Text of Of Mice and Men By John Steinbeck. Genre Of Mice and Men is a novella, meaning a small novellonger...

Of Mice and Men By John Steinbeck Genre Of Mice and Men is a novella, meaning a small novellonger than a short story, shorter than a novel. Steinbeck himself was going for a new genre; he called it a play-novelette, a short novel that contained the sparseness of language and description of a play. As you read, notice how easily the chapters could be played out on the stage. Barron's Educational Series, Inc Copyright 1993, World Library, Inc. Biographical Information John Steinbeck Born in Salinas, California Enrolled in Stanford University in 1919 and attended through 1925 but never earned a degree Worked the fields while in college picking strawberries, lettuce, sugar beets and broccoli Moved to NY and worked as a journalist and a laborer Published his first book Cup of Gold (1929) Got married and moved back to California Earned fame and financial security with his book Tortilla Flats (1935) Most famous work- The depression era novel- The Grapes of Wrath The Dust Bowl 1931: Drought hit the mid-western and southern plains (Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and other states) : Dust storms ravage the region. 1932, there were 14 such storms, the number increased to 38 in Crops, livestock, and the remainder of the regions livelihood begin to crash. Farmers migrated primarily to the San Joaquin Valley in California. These migrants often faced difficulties: hard work, poverty and prejudice. Depression Era Novels Steinbeck wrote three books that chronicled the trials encountered by migrants, who traveled from Dust Bowl regions to the San Joaquin Valley in California. Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath are the two most famous of the Dust Bowl novels. In these novels, Steinbeck glorified the unity of these workers and family members, but often portrayed farm owners and county representatives in a negative light. These novels were very controversial at the time. Novel Background Of Mice and Men was published in 1937 Chronicles the travel of two of these Dust Bowl migrants - George and Lennie Lennie is based upon a real person- Hes in an insane asylum in California right now. I worked alongside him for many weeks. He killed a ranch foreman. Got sore because the boss had fired his pal and stuck a pitchfork right through his stomach. I hate to tell you how many times. I saw him do it. We couldnt stop him until it was too late. (Steinbeck to the New York Times in 1937) The two had worked on other farms, but had continuously been fired because of Lennies actions. They have the dream of buying their own small parcel of land and being their own bosses. The origin of the title Of Mice and Men comes from To a Mouse, a poem by Robert Burns. This stanza is included in the poem: The best laid schemes o mice and men Gang aft agley [often go wrong] And leave us nought but grief and pain For promised joy! What does Burns mean by this stanza? Originally, Steinbeck was going to name his novel, "Something That Happened." Characteristics of Work allegory An allegory is a common literary device. It is usually a short story or book that tries to get across an important message about how people live or how they should live. Characters in an allegory usually stand for ideas and their names often show the ideas they stand for. What ideas could George and Lennie stand for? How about Slim and Carlson, Candy and Crooks? Barron's Educational Series, Inc Copyright 1993, World Library, Inc. Characteristics of Work The ranch as a MICROCOSM of the USA A microcosm is a miniature world. Individual people within a microcosm represent groups of people in the larger world. Steinbeck wrote the ranch as a microcosm of American society, representing elements of farm communities in the U.S. during the Depression: poverty, loneliness, a homeless feeling. Barron's Educational Series, Inc Copyright 1993, World Library, Inc. Characteristics of Work foreshadowing, simile/metaphor, and alliteration Since Of Mice and Men is considered an allegory, it makes sense that there would be a lot of symbolic language in it. Look for Steinbecks use of metaphors and simileshow do they help you understand and envision the action, characters and relationships Alliteration is the repetition of beginning consonants in a sentence or line of poetry. Why do you think Steinbeck uses alliteration when he writes about nature? Foreshadowing is a writing technique that involves having early events or descriptions in a story give hints about what will happen later. Look for early events that give you a hint to those that happen later Literary Period or Movement Of Mice and Men employs a very particular type of realism called "naturalism," which is a literary and philosophical movement that seeks to apply the scientific principles of objectivity and detachment to its study of human beings. Naturalist novels often explore the world as a place where you have to fight to survive in a universe that has no morality and doesnt care about you. Its not unusual for naturalist novels to end in degradation and despair. Symbol: MWDS p. 4 Symbols are objects, characters, figures, and colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts. The river Hands (referred to more than 100 times, why? ) George and Lennies Farm Candys dog Lennies puppy The bunkhouse As you read, and review what you have read, think about what these symbols represent Main Characters: MWDS p. 3 George and Lennie Characters See if you can recognize the Types of people these characters might represent: Candy, Crooks, and Curley's wife How about the type Curley might represent? Slim? Carlson? Important Quotes " Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place.... With us it ain't like that. 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 blowin' in our jack jus' because we got no place else to go. If them other guys gets in jail they can rot for all anybody gives a damn. But not us (Steinbeck 13). Important Quotes "S'pose you didn't have nobody. S'pose you couldn't go into the bunk house and play rummy 'cause you was black. How'd you like that? S'pose you had to sit out here an' read books. Sure you could play horseshoes till it got dark, but then you got to read books. Books ain't no good. A guy needs somebody - to be near him. A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. Don't make no difference who the guy is, long's he's with you. I tell ya, I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick (Steinbeck 80). Important Quotes "We could live offa the fatta the lan(Steinbeck 57) "I ought to of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn't ought to of let no stranger shoot my dog. (Steinbeck 61) "No, Lennie. I ain't mad. I never been mad, an' I ain't now. That's a thing I want ya to know" (Steinbeck 106). "'Never you mind,' said Slim. 'A guy got to sometimes.'" (Steinbeck 107). Motif A motif is a reoccurring idea What reoccurring ideas have you come across so far? Friendship Dreams ( The American Dream/ broken dreams) Inequality/ oppression of outcasts Loneliness THEME A theme is an idea explored by an author. A theme contains a motif, but adds the authors message about the motif. For Example: What do you think Steinbeck might be saying about friendship? Why? What might he be saying about dreams? Only choose a theme that your can defend with quotes from the text