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Of Mice and Men

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Matt Cowley

on 14 January 2015

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Transcript of Of Mice and Men

ENG4U - Literary Theory Literature Circles
Of Mice and Men
Plot Summary
1. Aunt Clara
2. Curley's Wife
: is exploring the way the mind works and what persuades a person to behave.
Sigmund Freud’s theory on psychoanalysis focuses on three parts of the unconscious mind. Which are
Sigmund Freud’s Theory
The unconscious mind is in its primal state of mind and the choices are made by primal instincts.
is about the greater good and its impact on society.
It’s the rational thought process which looks at both personal and overall outcome.
"Morality Principle”
"Pleasure Principle"
George’s unconscious mind is dominated by his Ego.

Lennie's unconscious mind is controlled by his ID.

Work Cited
Of Mice and Men
. New York: Penguin, 1993. Print.
1. Plot Summary
2. Movie Trailer
3. Psychoanalytical Criticism
4. Historical Criticism
5. Marxist Criticism
6. Feminist Criticism
Segregation of African-Americans
The old were ignored
Labourers are exploited
"Crooks, the negro stable buck, had his bunk in the harness room; a little shed that leaned off the wall of the barn" (66)
"Nobody'd listen to you and you know it. Nobody'd listen." (81)
"We got to keep it until we get a stake. We can't help it Lennie" (33).
Aunt Clara
Curley's Wife
Lennie and George travel from a ranch in Weeds to a ranch in Soledad, California to pick barley
George catches Lennie playing with a dead mouse, he previously told him to leave alone.
George warns Lennie to not cause any porblems, like he did in Weeds.
Upon arrival, George and Lennie meet an old handyman named Candy, the boss, his son Curley and Curley's wife.
Slim agrees to give Lennie one of his pups to play with.
Carlson complains about the Candy's old dog and pressure Candy to kill it. Candy eventually lets Carlson kill the dog.
Lennie daydreams about his plan with George, and Curley starts a fight with him.
George, Slim, Whit and Carlson take Curley into town to get his hand treated.
Lennie, Crooks and Candy talk in Crook's room discussing Lennie and George's dream.
Crooks and Candy decide they want to join them.
Lennie is sad and worried because he was told not to touch the puppies anymore.
Curley's wife enters the barn to talk to Lennie
Curley's wife lets Lennie stroke her hair, she becomes upset and frantic and Lennie accidentally kills her.
Lennie runs to the safe spot George pointed out at the beginning of the novel.
George decides that he must kill Lennie so that Curley and Carlson do not lynch him.
George displays his ID through his primal instinct to be a protector.
He ain’t bright. Hell of a good worker, though. Hell of a nice fella, but he aint bright. I’ve knew him for longtime‘’ (Steinbeck 34).

“He’s awright. Just ain’t bright. But he can do anything you tell him”(22).
George reveals his superego when he consistently tells Lennie how to act and behave.
"He ain’t bright. Hell of a good worker, though. Hell of a nice fella, but he aint bright. I’ve knew him for longtime‘’ (Steinbeck 34).

“He’s awright. Just ain’t bright. But he can do anything you tell him”(22).

George’s rational thought is both justice and to help Lennie.
“you… an’ me. Everydoby gonna be nice to you. Aint gonna be no more trouble. Nobody gonna hurt nobody nor steal from ‘em” (106).
There are two main examples where Lennie’s ID takes over his decision making.
1. "Pleasure Principle"
“I like to pet nice things. Once at a fair I seen some of them long-hair rabbits. An’ they was nice, you bet. . Sometimes I’ve even pet mice, but not when I could get nothing better” (90).
2. Aggression
“ He shook her; and her body flopped like a fish. And then she was still, for Lennie had broken her neck” (91).
Lennie shows his superego when knows he will disappoint George if he does not obey his restrictions.
“Now maybe George ain’t gonna let me tend rabbits, if he fin’s out you got killed.” (85)
Trying to resolve the situation after accidentally killing Curley’s wife
He says, “I done a real bad thing, I shouldn’t of did that. George’ll be mad. An’….he said…an’ hide in the brush till he come” (92).
Lennie's aunt
represents the respected women of the time period
"And then from Lennie's head there came a little fat old women. She wore thick bull's-eye glasses and she wore a huge gingham apron with pockets, and she was starched and clean. She stood in front of Lennie and put her hands on her hips, and she frowned disapprovingly at him" (109-110).
Referred to in derogatory terms like"tart" (28) and "bitch" (32)
Represents the temptress' of the time period
Killed by Lennie
McLeod,Saul. "Id, Ego and Superego". simplypsychology.org. McLeod, S. A.

(2008). Print. 01/05/2015. 

Great Depression
- George and Lennie wander around in search of work.

- It was very challenging to find work during the Great Depression.

- The reality of broken dreams is another element that the novel brings out.
American Dream
"The American Dream is 'that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller...' " (Adams)

- We see that the American Dream was pretty much an impossibility at the time.
" 'Sure,' said George. 'All kin's a vegetables in the garden, and if we want a little whisky we can sell a few eggs or something, or some milk. We'd jus' live there. We'd belong there. There wouldn't be no more runnin' round the country and gettin' fed by a Jap cook. No, sir, we'd have our own place where we belonged and not sleep in no bunk house.' " (Steinbeck 57)
"Him and me was both born in Auborn. I knowed his Aunt Clara. She took him in when he was a baby and raised him up. When his Aunt Clara died, Lennie just come along with me out working" (Steinbeck 40).
"A lady gave me some, an' that lady was - my own Aunt Clara. She give it right to me -'bout this big a piece. I wisht I had that velvet right now" (90).
"'The hell with the rabbits. An' you ain't to be trusted with no live mice. Your Aunt Clara give you a rubber mouse and you wouldn't have nothing to do with it" (10).
Curley wears a glove on his left hand "fulla vaseline" (27) to keep it soft for his wife.
"[Slim] said, 'Curley - maybe you better stay here with your wife.' Curley's face reddened. 'I'm goin', ... I'm gonna shoot the guts outa that big bastard myself, even if I only got one hand. I'm gonna get 'im'." (98).
Referred to in derogatory terms like"tart" (28) and "bitch" (32).
After the first introduction of Curley's wife, George asks if she is "purty" (28) to which Slim replies, "Well - she got the eye" (28).
"He's scared Curley'll get mad" (86)
"I get lonely, ... You can talk to people, but
I can't talk to nobody but Curley
. Else he gets mad. How'd you like not to talk to anybody?" (87).
There are two types of women portrayed within Of Mice and Men, the good and dead or the evil and alive.
Aunt Clara represents the good and dead
Curley's wife represents the evil and alive for most of the story, then when her true self shines through she is killed and becomes the good and dead.
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