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Of Mice and Men Symbols
Transcript of Of Mice and Men Symbols
The symbol in the middle of your table goes in the box titled “Your Chosen Symbol”
Work individually to complete the first row of your “Shmoop Symbolism” Graphic organizer titled “Appearance 1.” (This includes pg #, context and the possible meaning suggested by that context.)
You have two minutes to do this! Ready, set, go! Pair-share Time! Mice & Lennie’s puppy Candy’s Dog Share and discuss where you found the symbol and what a possible meaning is.
Fill in the “Appearance 2” row with another, separate example that one of your table-mates found during the warm-upYou have two minutes to do this! Ready, set, go! Find a third example to fill in “appearance 3” with your table group.Choose one person at your table who will share out the significance of your table’s symbol.
Please be prepared to use textual evidence (your quotes/evidence from the story with page numbers) in order to demonstrate how you made an inference about what the symbol means based on the context. As we share, please make sure to fill out the “Symbolism Graphic Organizer” on the backside of the sheet. What does the table group have to say? The first mouse we encounter is dead. The way Lennie kills his mice parallels how he kills his puppy. He likes to pet soft things, which leads him to kill these innocent animals.
This may symbolize how Lennie’s happiness tends to end in some form of suffering.
Like Lennie, the mice and puppy suffer because they’re small: a mouse’s physical smallness leaves it vulnerable, while Lennie’s mental smallness is his undoing. These natural characteristics determining the fates of Lennie,
The mouse and the puppy are examples of what literary movement? Rabbits What does the table group have to say? The situation of Candy’s dog parallel’s candy’s own situation in that the dog used to be one of the best sheepherders, but he is now old. Candy is an old ranch worker (“swamper”) who has lost one of his hands in a farm accident.
Their situations symbolize the fate of individuals whom society no longer deems useful.
What does the situation with Candy’s dog foreshadow? What did the table group have to say? Rabbits symbolize the dream that many of the characters have. George, Lennie, Candy, Crooks, Curley’s wife, all dream of something better. For Lennie, it’s “tending the rabbits.”Rabbits represent Lennie’s dream and the impossibility of their fulfillment.The audience knows these rabbits will likely be added to Lennie’s trail of small and dead animals, symbolizing Lennie’s inability to see patterns in his life and to recognize that failure is imminent. George and Lennie’s Farm What does the table group have to say about it? This symbolizes the American DreamDuring this time period, the American Dream seemed out of reach for many Americans because of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Curley’s Wife What does the table group have to say? Curley’s wife is the symbolic “Eve”Eve was a Bible character who brought sin and death to the worldShe is also symbolic of women everywhere who are repressed by male-centered societies and are always forced out by those who always see men as “better” than women. Crooks’ Room What does the table group have to say? Crooks’ room is symbolic of loneliness and solitudeIt is also symbolic of the isolation, fear and threat of death that resulted from discrimination during that time period. Solitaire hand What does the table group have to say? Lennie Small is never asked to play cards or other games because George knows that Lennie is incapable of such a mental task.It is also symbolic of George’s desire to be solitary and of his eventual decision to become a solitary man.