Many of the major and minor characters in Of Mice and Men are suffering from persistent anxiety. Most of the characters are marginalized and the grinding poverty and frustration that they experience keeps them in a state of constant anticipation, followed by crushing disappointment.
Write an essay in which you use theories from psychology and psychoanalysis to explain what anxiety is, how it affects these characters, and how it limits their possibilities to overcome some of the internal barriers that they erect against themselves, as well as the external conditions that restrict them. These characters include Candy, Curley, Crooks, and Slim. The very names of these characters allude to characteristics that serve to reflect or refract the psychological profiles and relationships of Lennie and George.
Be sure to note the characteristics that these minor characters share with Lennie and George namely, loneliness , but characteristics that may differ, too. The pervasive emotion experienced by all of the characters in Of Mice and Men is loneliness see quotes, below. The loneliness is, on the one hand, real- none of the men wants to be alone.
The loneliness is also, though, profoundly existential and symbolic. The men do not want to be alone with themselves, and they do not want to be left behind by society.
Write an analytic essay in which you evaluate these various levels of loneliness. Go beneath the superficial sense of loneliness, and mine the deeper meanings. Conclude with a statement of your belief about what Steinbeck wished to convey about the nature of human relationships. Aside from the thesis statements above, these quotes alone can act as essay questions or study questions as they are all relevant to the text in an important way.
All quotes contain page numbers as well. Look at the bottom of the page to identify which edition of the text by John Steinbeck they are referring to. I just like to know what your interest is.
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.
They come, an' they quit an' go on; an' every damn one of 'em's got a little piece of land in his head. An' never a God damn one of 'em ever gets it. Everybody wants a little piece of lan'.
I read plenty of books out here. Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land. It's just in their head. This might also make the close reader think back to other violent characters, such as Curley. Unlike Lennie, he has an educated adult brain and yet is still shown as unable to control his instinctive animal-like behaviour at times. This surely hints at one of the themes of the story, of animals vs. In terms of structure , this passage is important as it works to foreshadow the violent and tragic events soon to follow when Lennie becomes confused and angry with Curley's wife.
The ' avoid at all costs ' list Don't retell the events of the story. As your teacher or examiner already knows exactly what happens in the story you're writing about, they'll deduct marks if you choose to waste valuable writing time re-telling them such details! Below is an example of the kind of 'retelling of events' that you need to avoid.
It uses an example from John Steinbeck's story 'Of Mice and Men' - if you don't know this story, don't worry, you'll get the idea: He tells him how his life would be so much better if Lennie wasn't there for him to have to bother about. You know by now that what is needed is analysis , interpretation and discussion. How might the above example of re-telling be written so that it gains marks?
This means thinking about aspects of the story such as setting , plot , mood , tension , characters and events. It also requires a discussion of the various layers of meaning that exist within a story and how the author creates these through effective choices of literary technique and language.
Fictional characters and events aren't real - so avoid writing about them as if they are. It's important when discussing literature to analyse and discuss the characters and events of fiction from a 'critical distance'. This means separating yourself emotionally from the story and analysing it coolly and objectively.
It's important to write in a style that shows you recognise that characters are imaginary constructions designed with a purpose in mind. Here is an example of writing about characters and events as if they were real again using 'Of Mice and Men'. This approach loses marks. He's stuck with Lennie just because Lennie can't look after himself. This is a terrible shame for George because he's such a nice guy and it means that he isn't able to carry on with a normal life. How might this be written in a more critical and objective manner?
This approach gains marks. Answer the question, the whole question and nothing but the question! You would be shocked if you knew each year just how many students write answers that seem to have little bearing on the essay or exam question they are answering.
Don't be one of them. R ead the question or essay title with care and reflect on it in depth before you begin to write. Make a rough plan - a kind of structure for your answer. This might be a structure based on a series of quotations you've uncovered from the text that will help answer the essay question. Stay on track by using this trick: Bear in mind that anything else risks being waffle and could easily lose marks. Teachers and examiners look for examples in your work of the following and award marks according to how well you have tackled the three areas:.
Marks are awarded when you show you have understood the deeper levels of meaning in the story. You also need to show how the writer has used language and literary devices effectively. How to analyse a story and discuss what you find. All of the stories you will read during your course will be based on what is called narrative.
An understanding of this will, therefore, provide you with the tools to write a top class essay or exam answer. It is because stories are told as narratives that they are engaging, absorbing and believable. No-one quite knows why it is but we seem to have an inbuilt psychological need to have events whether real or imaginary told to us using the form and structure of narrative.
It's such a powerful means of telling about events. We all hear and use narratives each and every day, even if we never pick up a book to read! The reason narrative is so successful and popular as a means of telling stories is connected with the fact that it works by building a sense of anticipation , suspense and tension.
This creates an enjoyable sense of wanting to know what will happen next. That's why when you read a really good book or hear a juicy story from a friend, you're sometimes held spellbound. It's important to realise that when well constructed, narratives are also highly persuasive - we are easily convinced by them and often believe in them rather too unquestioningly. An important aspect of all narratives is the quality of the narrative voice. This is the 'voice' that 'tells' those parts of the story that are not dialogue.
We seem to have a built in desire to want to trust and enjoy listening to certain types of narrative voice ; again, no one really knows why this is. Here is a short piece of fictional narrative. Can you work out what quality makes it seem authentic , compelling and - above all - trustworthy?
The Form and Structure of Narrative Wh en you write about a story, you are being asked to analyse and discuss why and how the writer has put to use the various forms and structures of narrative. So let's look at the basics of narrative. In a typical narrative, fictional or otherwise, the story concerns a series of events , and often leading to a climax of events, that cause some kind of change in the life of a single main character - technically termed, the protagonist.
The events that cause a change in the life of the protagonist usually occur early in the story, shortly after the main characters in the story and the setting have been introduced. This initial setting up of the story is called the exposition. It's called this because the reader needs to be 'exposed' to certain key details in order for the story to 'work'. The changes to the protagonist's life are caused by some kind of conflict. This is often created by another character - the antagonist - or by a social system such as, perhaps, parental authority or the law, or even the trials and tribulations of growing up!
It is the conflict that creates what is called the complication of the story. This initial complication is developed by the author into the story's rising action. This moves the story towards its climax , a point almost at the end of the story when problems for the protagonist reach a peak.
This quickly leads to a satisfying ending, and a sense of closure , called the resolution. Not all narratives are 'complete' in terms of the above basic structure. We have all grown up immersed in a world of narratives and so have become entirely capable of 'filling in' any part of a narrative that is missed out. We make assumptions about the parts that are missing based on what we expect to have occurred. For example, a story can start straight into its conflict ; and yet we know, as readers, that the protagonist's life was - and should be - uneventful and peaceful, so we assume that the first part of the narrative existed in this way and we believe that the protagonist will want that peaceful life to return.
You will find yourself creating a character who is a kind of 'hero' while another will be the 'villain'; the events of the story will be linked by a kind of 'cause and effect' relationship; the events will be told from a single viewpoint although you might 'invent' other apparent viewpoints by telling what others 'say' - by using dialogue ; and, finally, you will use a linked 'beginning-middle-end' structure but you - as the narrator - will decide on when the beginning begins An important question can be asked about using narrative to relate events in the world because narrative acts to simplify real world events dramatically.
Reality can never be as simple as narrative makes it. The real-life stories on the TV News are related to their audience as narratives and seem entirely believable. But narrative is a highly simplified and opinionated way of accounting for what has to be the truly complex lives and events of people in this world of ours. And yet some qualities it has creates the sense that it is true or at least potentially true. Just how does narrative make its characters and events seem so believable - and compelling?
GENRE Genre is the 'type' or 'kind' of something - we have a habit of grouping things in the world into similar things, and these can be called 'genres'. Genre and narrative are closely linked both ideas seem to be 'hard wired' into our brains. When we hear or read a narrative that is in a certain genre, we have quite firm expectations of the narrative concerning what kind of setting to expect, what kind of characters and what kind of events, whether it be an action-adventure story, a romance or whatever.
In this way, genre partly determines what we expect to happen and who and what seems 'natural' and believable. Click here for more on this important concept. When writing about a story do not fall into this trap. See the story for what it truly is - a literary device that has been chosen because it creates a compelling tale most often used to promote a particular way of seeing the world - the author's themes.
You can do this best by showing that you recognise each of the characters and events in the story as being entirely fictional creations of their author. It is best if you choose to view all characters, their relationships and the events as purely a vehicle or means used by the author to create a compelling and convincing story - often no more than a highly compelling but persuasive form of writing that helps us see life the way the author wants us to see it. Some modern writers have tried to change the traditional narrative form and structure in various ways.
Some create a 'partial narrative' in which the reader is left to 'fill in' the parts not told some create a 'broken narrative' that uses 'flashbacks', 'flash-forwards' some use multiple viewpoints and many now leave the hero as less heroic, and the villain as less villainous. Despite these attempts to break with traditional narrative forms and structures, the basic concepts are similar. Narrative is proving to be a very enduring thing!
Various plot 'devices' are used to create tension and to make the reader want to guess what will happen next; at it's best this keeps us wanting to turn the page to find out - we are made to feel that we just can't put the book down.
This tension is generated in part by the slow release of detail and the introduction of various character types and conflicts but, most of all, by the narrative device of making all events seem to be connected, leading on one from another. This 'connectedness' means that we have a chance of guessing where the story is leading - and we just love guessing and either being right or being surprised by a 'twist in the tale'.
We are also naturally rather nosy and enjoy a quick peek into another person's life - even if it's a fictional life. It can be very enjoyable experiencing the world vicariously - which means 'at one remove', experiencing dangers from the safety of our seat. Few stories are written simply to entertain - some young children's stories might be, but most stories are, in reality, an entertaining 'vehicle' or means for their author to present a series of persuasive ideas to the reader.
These ideas are called the themes of the story; they are the author's views concerning some important aspect - one if the 'big issues' - of life. Many authors choose themes that relate to aspects of their society's prevailing or dominant ideologies. Writers are peculiarly creative and sensitive individuals; they can be deeply aware of the frictions within society.
They use their imaginative genius to weave compelling stories around interesting characters to highlight and help you sympathise with certain ideas and points of view. If you have read 'Of Mice and Men', for example, by John Steinbeck, however much you enjoyed the story, after you finish the last page and close the cover, many of its ideas will stay with you for a long time, if not for the remainder of your life.
These ideas or themes will have been revealed and explored in the story through the actions of its characters. You will have been brought to empathise with and often feel sympathy for the plight of certain characters in a story, and to dislike others. Those with which you sympathise, you will tend to feel strongly about, even identify with. What happens to them will interest you - and it is in this way that many ideas about society can be highlighted and brought to your attention.
Understanding the themes an author explores in a story and the way these are made persuasive through its characters and events is crucial to your coursework and exams. A vital part of this is to understand how to close read a story to allow you to analyse its style and structure, as only this will allow you to develop sophisticated insights into its author's themes.
This 'person' supplies the story's narrative voice and is called the story's narrator. There are two main choices: Most importantly, it is the narrative voice that creates a particular kind of relationship with the reader that mediates all that the reader can understand about other characters and the events and ideas of the story.
Working out and considering the effects of the author's particular choice of narrative voice adds to your understanding of the characters, the story and the themes. How obvious is this voice? What are its qualities - its effects on you, the reader?
Does it seem entirely trustworthy? Is it biased towards a particular character or way of viewing society? Working out how the narrative voice mediates what you come to know and understand about the characters, events and themes is a key exam and coursework skill - and is highly rewarded as it is classed as a high level skill. First Person Narrative The important thing to remember here is the limitations of this choice of narrator: But this choice of narrator is able to create a close relationship with the reader - indeed, it is highly possible for the reader to feel as if they are the narrator in this kind of narrative, so close is the relationship that develops.
Third Person Narrative A third person narrator can 'see' and 'tell' everything about each character, and be anywhere at any time, able to judge and comment upon events and characters at will; however, third person narrators are usually not neutral and are given limited and biased viewpoints by the writer such that the narrative voice leads the reader to support the 'hero' and criticise the 'villain'. A third person narrator is sometimes referred to as an omniscient narrator when the viewpoint is more neutral and 'all-knowing'.
This technical device causes the reader to become enjoyably absorbed and involved in the plot as we enjoy guessing and predicting what might happen next. Clearly the sequence of events that develop the plot is an important consideration when you are analysing and discussing a particular story.
Again, this is classed as a high level skill and so can attract many marks. The following table shows graphically how writers often structure their stories in a way that they know a reader will feel is most satisfying and which will allow the plot to be developed slowly and most convincingly: This is the role of the opening section, the 'exposition'.
It gives answers to key questions: An intriguing 'plot hook' is given early, 'hooking' the reader into the storyworld. A suitable mood helps, often given through careful description of setting; this helps the reader 'feel' a sense of 'being in the fictional story-world'.
A story can begin in media res - in the middle of the action - but this forces the need for some kind of flashback device.
In the exposition, the sense that the main character's life is in 'equilibrium' is suggested - a balance about to be disturbed by the 'conflict'! The reader will be brought to sympathise with the protagonist during the conflict and to feel anger at the role of the antagonist. He or she has changed, becoming wiser having dealt with life's problems. To discuss aspects of characterisation, you'll need to consider how the author helps you to believe in and either empathise with i.
Some characters can be called rounded. These are those who are of most importance to the story. Other, lesser, characters can seem flat in comparison, and might be more simplistically drawn to be a stock character - a kind of fictional stereotype see below for more.
Look for ways in which you have been brought to an emotional 'relationship' with certain characters, either for or against them. You will find yourself, likely, empathising, even sympathising at times, with the protagonist, engaging with what they are involved in and the way they are thinking. Why do you think it is that readers always identify with the 'good guy' and never the 'bad guy'? Look closely at your story and see how this literary trick was achieved.
The reader's relationship with a character is often helped to develop by what characters are given to say and how they say it.
The technical term for speech in a story is dialogue and it can be very effective at drawing a reader into a story and making the characters seem very believable. It's important to realise that successful dialogue is never natural - even if it seems that way. Everyday real conversation is very 'loose' and, if put straight into a story, very b-o-r-i-n-g. Like description, dialogue is always tightly focused and dramatic; it adds only what is essential to the story and characterisation.
Although it is usually far quicker to do so, writers will often try to avoid simply 'telling' a reader about things; instead, they prefer to 'show' the reader what something or someone is like. For example, instead of telling you a character is, say, 'evil', an effective writer would rather 'show' the character acting in an evil way, or describing features that seem evil.
This is far more convincing ploy. Read how John Steinbeck mixes 'showing' with 'telling' in this brief extract from the opening of 'Of Mice and Men'. Sometimes, the term 'landscape' is used to refer specifically to place the description of place.
Importantly, setting is almost always important to the story in terms of its mood , atmosphere , characterisation or themes. Conventions are a part of the experience of reading a story because we 'suspend disbelief' we are rarely aware they even exist.
Here are a few: You can see that fiction relies on a willing co-operation between writer and reader. Stories appear realistic and believable through the author's skilful use of various literary devices. The most important of these is the author's choice to use the most trusted form of storytelling, i. A story's closeness to reality is referred to as its degree of verisimilitude. If a story's truthfulness to life is less than convincing, its author will have failed to create a sufficient degree of verisimilitude.
UNITY Unity describes the way a story pursues a single main idea , which is the writer's theme ; coherence is the way a story 'holds logically together', with each part existing in a kind of 'cause and effect' relationship with previous and following parts of the story. Even description and dialogue are constructed so as to seem to 'hold together' in this way.
They are only ever used when they will add to the overall coherence and unity of the narrative.
The relationship between the intelligent but weak George Milton and the retarded but strong Lennie Small is the focal point of Steinbeck's novella, and a surface reading strongly suggests that.
Free Essay: How strong is George and Lennie's relationship in Of Mice and Men. Although not the same, their always together. John Steinbeck, author of of.
George would always look out for Lennie, as Lennie would always be protective over George. Their relationship is pivotal and underlines the main theme of friendship in the novel, which led to Steinbeck focusing so much on the friendship of the two men. An important relationship in the novel is the relationship between George and Lennie. George and Lennie know each other because George was a friend of Lennie’s Aunt Clara. Of Mice and Men Comparison Essay The book, Of Mice and Men, is one that invokes thought in the reader. Although the book is well written, the movie does not .
Of mice and men george and lennie relationship essay - get the required paper here and forget about your concerns Fast and reliable writings from industry best company. Qualified writers engaged in the service will accomplish your paper within the deadline. Relationship between Lennie and George in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Essay Lennie and George are considerably different from the other ranch workers mainly unlike the workers who are all shown to be lonely, George and Lennie have each other.