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Copy of Of Mice and Men Background Information

Background for beginning Of Mice and Men
by

Melissa Jacobsen

on 24 January 2012

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Transcript of Copy of Of Mice and Men Background Information

A novella written by John Steinbeck and published in 1937 Of Mice and Men The novella takes place on a farm in Salinas, California after the Great Depression, where migrant workers George and Lennie have come to be farm hands George Milton: A quick witted man who is Lennie's best friend and guardian Lennie Small: A mentally disabled, but physically strong man who is George's constant companion Symbolism Words, place, character or objects that mean something beyond what they are on the literal level Whenever you see animals in the novel, pay close attention: they are the most used symbols Today, it's #4 on the American Library Association's list of most banned books of the 21st century Promotes Euthanasia/MerCY KILLING Contains racial slurs Anti-business Profanity George and Lennie want to own a farm: it represents their American dream Foreshadowing Suggesting, hinting, indicating, or showing what will occur later in a narrative. Foreshadowing often provides hints about what will happen next. The major focus of the novel is the relationship between George and Lennie; pay attention to who they are as individuals, friends, and members of society What are some elements of these literary movements we might see in the novella? Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962 "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception" So, his works incorporate realism and regionalism Idiom: synonym for dialect; a construction or expression in one language that cannot be matched or directly translated word-for-word in another language "live off the fatta the land" Themes and Motifs
The Ellusiveness of Dream:
George and Lennie Dream about owning a farm and being their own
boss. This is their American Dream
The importance of Friendship-
George and Lennie have a special bond that allows them to get through tough situations. Only a few other characters have this special bond Lonliness-
Many of the characters in the novel suffer from lonliness because they aren't able to build strong friendships/bonds with others due to circumstances beyond their control
People with differences are ostracized by society-
several characters in this novel are treated badly or unfairly because they are different Rabbits: Lennie constantly talks about how he will have rabbits on his farm,
this symbolizes HOPE FOR THE FUTURE Mice- Lennie's innocence- his inability to understand his own stength The puppy- innocence- the reliance of the weak on the strong the Old Dog- the disposability of the old/Weak/Disabled Setting What are Migrant Workers? During the 1930s, the unemployment rate was high in the U.S., and with so many men searching for work, agencies were set up to send farm workers to where they were needed.
They made very little money and lived in rough conditions VIOLENCE Realism "the faithful representation of reality"
Literature that aims to give a realistic depiction of events Regionalism Writing that focuses on specific features – including characters, dialects, customs, history, and topography – of a particular region
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