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Of Mice and Men-

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Steven Hines

on 4 February 2014

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Transcript of Of Mice and Men-

The Extract- The Fight
Edexcel GCSE English Language
Unit 2- The Writer's Voice
The Fight Scene- Movie clip
Mark Scheme
Sample answer
Of Mice and Men-
John Steinbeck

The Exam Question- Higher
Important to note that this is directly a language question. It should cover aspects like:

Phonetic spelling
Words in a specific semantic field
Adjectives, adverbs, nouns
Onomatopoeia
Colloquialisms
Similes and metaphors

Curley’s violent temper and aggression are the main features of two thirds of the passage:

The lexical choices
'rage'
and
'exploded'
are significant as they give an indication of Curley's pugnacious and aggressive persona. He targets Lennie because he is vulnerable and also because he is a bigger man.

The words
ya
,
gonna
and
yella
are all written phonetically- it enables the reader to understand the CADENCES of the speech and also improves the veracity of the characterisation.
Steinbeck uses the simile here of a 'terrier'- this is an apt one to use. There is a common theme throughout the novel that links characters to animals. The terrier here is small, scrappy and animalistic in its aggression. Lennie, in contrast, 'bleats' in terror- the frightened sheep being attacked by the rabid dog. Lennie, who is also blissfully ignorant of the man's intent is a figure of our sympathy
Curley reacts strongly (‘glared at him’) to Candy’s taunting of him- the men are intent on this becoming a fight. Even the perceived 'weaker' members of the ranch like Candy are emboldened by the atmosphere. This seems to encourage Curley though.
Curley has confidence in his fighting ability, in taking on someone who is clearly much bigger and stronger than he is. There is clear evidence that he is a good boxer; the feeling amongst the men, perhaps is that he picks on people he knows he can't lose against. The adjectives 'balanced' and 'poised' are important because they indicate the expertise he has.
The use of very kinetic, violent verbs here is another indication of Curley's rage and temper- this contrasts beautifully with Lennie's impotence and his inability to defend himself.
Despite Lennie’s reluctance to respond, Curley carries on the attack: ‘Curley attacked his stomach and cut off his wind’- this is a clear indication of the perception that Curley is a coward. He clearly wants to carry on beating a man who is both unwilling to fight and also has developmental issues.
When finally Lennie retaliates, Curley’s aggression immediately disappears so that he is completely helpless (the simile of the ‘fish on the line’, ‘flopping’ -repeated)- This is in complete juxtaposition to the belligerent 'terrier' of seconds before. Interestingly, Lennie has earlier been compared to a bear- here he has his victim like an animal would their prey.
After his hand has been crushed by Lennie, Curley is defeated and bewildered ‘looking in wonder at his crushed hand’, ‘white and shrunken’, ‘stood crying’. He has lost dignity and has shown himself up for the coward he is. Lennie is not triumphant about the fight, he is equally upset.
Curley’s violent temper and aggression are the main features of two thirds of the passage: The lexical choices 'rage' and 'exploded' are significant as they give an indication of Curley's pugnacious and aggressive persona. He targets Lennie because he is vulnerable and also because he is a bigger man. We feel the skill of the writer in such well written example as direct speech: The words ya, gonna and yella are all written phonetically- it enables the reader to understand the cadences of the speech and also improves the veracity of the characterisation.

Steinbeck uses the simile here of a 'terrier'- this is an apt one to use. There is a common theme throughout the novel that links characters to animals. The terrier here is small, scrappy and animalistic in its aggression. Lennie, in contrast, 'bleats' in terror- the frightened sheep being attacked by the rabid dog. Lennie, who is also blissfully ignorant of the man's intent is a figure of our sympathy
Curley reacts strongly (‘glared at him’) to Candy’s taunting of him- the men are intent on this becoming a fight. Even the perceived 'weaker' members of the ranch like Candy are emboldened by the atmosphere. This seems to encourage Curley though.

Curley has confidence in his fighting ability, in taking on someone who is clearly much bigger and stronger than he is. There is clear evidence that he is a good boxer; the feeling amongst the men, perhaps is that he picks on people he knows he can't lose against. The adjectives 'balanced' and 'poised' are important because they indicate the expertise he has.
The use of very kinetic, violent verbs here is another indication of Curley's rage and temper- this contrasts beautifully with Lennie's impotence and his inability to defend himself.
Despite Lennie’s reluctance to respond, Curley carries on the attack: ‘Curley attacked his stomach and cut off his wind’- this is a clear indication of the perception that Curley is a coward. He clearly wants to carry on beating a man who is both unwilling to fight and also has developmental issues.
When finally Lennie retaliates, Curley’s aggression immediately disappears so that he is completely helpless (the simile of the ‘fish on the line’, ‘flopping’ -repeated)- This is in complete juxtaposition to the belligerent 'terrier' of seconds before. Interestingly, Lennie has earlier been compared to a bear- here he has his victim like an animal would their prey.
After his hand has been crushed by Lennie, Curley is defeated and bewildered ‘looking in wonder at his crushed hand’, ‘white and shrunken’, ‘stood crying’. He has lost dignity and has shown himself up for the coward he is. Lennie is not triumphant about the fight, he is equally upset.
Full transcript