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Violence in 'Of Mice and Men'

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on 19 September 2013

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Transcript of Violence in 'Of Mice and Men'

Presentation by Ben, Brad and Zihao
Accidental violence
Lennie again caused violence even he didn't intend to. But due to his simple minded personality and a childish mind he cannot control himself from killing, and when he does, he is often puzzled why things die so easily, which shows how delicate life is. There are a lot of accidental violence in the novel, with mice at the start then slowly leading to Curley's wife. They all involve Lennie taking interesting of something, for e.g the mice is soft and Lennie like to pet soft things, this also foreshadow Curley's wife's death since Lennie took interest to her at first sight. Steinbeck's use of accidental violence made the readers very tense since an accident could happen any time.
Key Motif
One of the main motif of this extract is about strength,rabbits(American dream) and the accidental violence.The fact that Lennie possess physical strength beyond his control made him kill many mice, and now a dog, this shows how easily Lennie destroies something and foreshadows the death of Curley's wife caused by him accidentally. when he was trying to comfort himself Steinbeck used the 'word' rock which shows strength. This part also expressed how much Lennie wants to 'tend the rabbits' and the fact he is scared of George no allowing him to tend the rabbits also shows his obedience to George, this is shown again when he was thinking of going to hide in the bushes. All of this motifs is shown repeatedly in the novella (the rabbits for example) which slowly provides a greater meaning every time they reappear.
Narrative decision
In our extract, mainly accidental violence is shown, and they all involve Lennie.
Violence in 'Of Mice and Men'
In this scene, Lennie is alone, all by himself in the barn, this made the scene much more tense since us(the reader) know before hand that Lennie cannot do anything by himself, and his absolute dependance on George, and that without George, Lennie possibly end up in jail or even died, therefore leaving Lennie alone is basically indication Lennie did something wrong.
The killing of the puupie, caused many mood swings for Lennie, he was first sad, then angry and finally guilty.This is shown by how Steinbeck described how/what Lennie spoke.
'Lennie said softly'
'suddenly his anger rose' God damn you...''
'They tol' me and tol' me you wasn't. I didn't know you'd get killed so easily'
'You ain't so little as mice'
'This ain't no bad thing like I got to go hide in the brush.
'George ain't gonna let me tend no rabbits'
'He rocked himself'
'I didn't bounce you hard'
'Why do you got to get killed?'
Men's different reaction to news
The reaction of men to the news differ, but Calson express much more violence.
Slim and Curley's actions
Extract 1- page 120-121
Extract 2- page 133
Extract 1
extract 2
-Blood thirsty and eager for violence.
-Over all exceptance of violence on the ranch.
Thrive on it / Change to mundane life
'I'll get my luger and he ran out...'
There is a great contast between the actions of Slim and Curley.
'he cried'
'Curley suddenly came to life'
'Slim went quietly'
'Slim turned quitly'
Full transcript