Of Mice and Men Critical Essay

1. Before she appears, Curley’s wife has been a topic of discussion among the men in the bunkhouse. What do the ranch hands think of her? Are they accurate? Discuss whether she is a sympathetic, or an unsympathetic character, explaining why it is that you see her as you do. A. The ranch hands look at curley’s wife and think she is lonely, they perceive her as ‘floosy’ and a ‘tart’. When they discuss Curley’s wife over a game of cards they all agree that she will make trouble for someone; as George says, “She’s a jailbait all set on the trigger. They are accurate because when she shows up all she does is flirt with the other men. She is longing for attention. All she wants is someone to talk to, to converse with but in her mind the only way she can do this is by flaunting herself to the men just to get noticed. I see Curley’s wife as a unsympathetic character. She will do exactly what she can to do to get her wants and needs met. Whether it be loneliness, someone to talk to or just flat out attention from the men.
I think she attempts to find some kind of sympathy with lowly regarded people such as Crooks or Lenny, even though she knows she should stay away from them. When she was trying to get the attention from lenny at the end and couldn’t she pushed for more making lenny stroke her hair. Lenny accidently stroked to hard and snapped her neck. Concluding what George said back in the beginning about her being jailbait. 2. Cite instances from throughout the novella where Steinbeck associates Lenny with small furry animals. Discuss what this association shows us.
A. Lenny likes to pet mice for comfort. He seeks companionship in small furry animals. George is constantly taking the dead mice away from lenny, but lenny tries to keep it in his pocket. I think this is Steinbeck’s way of letting us know that lenny does not care about death and is more concerned with comfort. I think Mice represent the false hope of a safe space for Lenny. Like Lenny, mice suffer because they’re small: a mouse’s physical smallness leaves it vulnerable; while Lenny’s mental smallness is his undoing.

I think that rabbits represent Lenny’s dreams and the impossibility of their fulfillment. Rabbits are a simple summation of everything Lenny hopes for, revealing his very simple thinking. Even when George first tells the story of the dream farm, it’s at Lenny’s prompting to tell him about the rabbits. For George, the farm is all sorts of freedom and happiness, but for Lenny, it is simply access to soft things. We know Lenny is excited about them because they’ll be furry and lovely to pet, but we also know that Lenny tends to hurt whatever he pets.
This doesn’t bode well for him and he knows it, hence the large, scary, rabbit at the end of the story. That rabbit announces that Lenny isn’t fit to lick the boots of a rabbit, but that the bunny comes from Lenny’s own mind suggests that he knows deep down he’ll never have his dream. The fact that rabbits never actually appear in the book highlights the unfortunate reality that Lenny’s dreams can never materialize. 3. Despite the sparseness of dialogue and the minimal interaction, the minor characters in the bunkhouse seem well rendered and distinct.
Select one of these characters, describe his personality and explain how his physical and psychological make-up contributes to the story. A. Crooks (named for his crooked back). He lives by himself because he is the only black man on the ranch. Crooks is a book guy and likes to keep his room neat, but he has been so beaten down by loneliness and prejudicial treatment of that he is now suspicious of any kindness he receives. Crooks character contributes to the story to help fit the time and setting of the era.
Lenny’s brief interaction with Crooks reveals the complexity of racial prejudice in the northern California ranch life. Crooks is painfully aware that his skin color is all that keeps him separate in this culture. Because of his need to feel like he has to isolate himself and has suffered extreme loneliness, he gets a rise when other people feel lonely too. Like in the instance where he teases lenny, about George not returning. 4. The title of the novella is taken from a famous quote from the poet Robert burns: “The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry. George and Lenny relay their plans for the future in a story told by George over and over, that becomes a sort of ritual for them in the novel. George’s story creates strong reactions in others. First, describe how two other characters react to the story. Second, discuss what function the ritual telling of the story serves especially in the final incident. A. They hope to one day attain their shared dream of settling down on their own piece of land. Lenny’s part of the dream is merely to tend to (and touch) soft rabbits on the farm. This dream is one of Lenny’s favorite stories, which George constantly retells. fter hearing this story Candy, the aged, one-handed ranch hand, offers to pitch in with George and Lenny so that they can buy a farm at the end of the month in return for permission to live with them on it. The three of them were happy but their joy is overshadowed when Curley attacks Lenny. He then, urged on by George, catches Curley’s fist and crushes it, reminding the group there are still obstacles to overcome before their goal is reached. George than discusses the dream with Crooks, who cannot resist asking them if he can hoe a garden patch on the farm.
After lenny kills curley’s wife and George finds him, The two sit together and George retells the beloved story of the bright future together that they will never share. He then shoots Lenny in the back of the head, so that his death will be painless and happy. I think George retold the story to help lenny feel more at ease and to put him in his happy place before killing him. So that way when lenny died he didn’t know George wanted to kill him or did. His last thought was going to be of the story of them two together on the farm. Of Mice And Men

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