“Now what ya suppose is eatin’ them two guys?” (OMM #5)

Discuss the last portion and, actually, all Of Mice and Men here.   Be sure to include many specific text-based details in your commentary, but DO NOT summarize.  Be sure also to reply to your classmates as the discussion evolves over the course of the evening.

Also, don’t forget to write two or three discussion questions for class.  Remember, though, that a discussion question should not have an answer.  Rather, it should provoke interesting conversation.

OMM blog #5

36 thoughts on ““Now what ya suppose is eatin’ them two guys?” (OMM #5)

  1. We talked a lot in class today about themes, motifs and symbols in this book, and the one that stuck out to me the most was that of brotherhood, especially between George and Lennie. If we take a look at the last scene of the book, where George shoots Lennie, Lennie says, “‘How’s it gonna be? We gonna get a little place’ ‘We’ll have a cow’ said George. ‘An’ we’ll have maybe a pig an’ chickens…an’ down the flat we’ll have a…a little piece alfalfa-’….And George raised the gun and steadied it, and brought the muzzle of it close to the back of Lennie’s head.The hand shook violently, but his face set and hid hand steadied. He pulled the trigger.” (pages 105 and 106). Even as George is about to kill Lennie, we can clearly see that they are bonding, and further, dependent on each other. While it may not seem like it, George needs Lennie. This is shown because he is so hesitant to kill him, and the only way he can bring him to do it is to make sure Lennie is in the happiest place he can be. Plus, George knows that he wouldn’t get any jobs without George, and so he brings him along. If we take a look at Lennie, it is obvious he needs George. Besides the fact that he can’t function without George, the dream of owning their own farm keeps Lennie glued to George and keeps him going, through the thick and thin. Even in some of the worst times of the book, (i.e. the ending) Lennie makes George explain the dream that they may one day achieve. It makes the ending so much sadder because now we know how oblivious Lennie actually is. To me, this makes Steinbeck a great writer because he can put each of us into the shoes of Lennie-even if we don’t have a mental disability. Overall, I found this second read more enjoyable and am happy that we took the time to complete it.

    Two analysis questions I have for this reading are:

    Why did George have to shoot Lennie? Was it like Candy, who said “I should have shot the dog,” or was it simply to make the moment more heartbreaking?

    How would George proceed knowing he killed his best friend, Lennie? Would it scar him?

    • Great job! I agree with you that brotherhood plays an important role in this book and I also like how we reread this book. Keep up the great work!

    • I like your discussion questions Matt. I think that George will of course be scared, but he’ll also be able to cope with the death of Lennie.

  2. When we were first assigned to reread the novella, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, I was a little hesitant but after rereading it, I find myself enjoying some themes, ideas, and motifs that I didn’t pay attention to before. One of these many motifs is justice. Throughout the whole book we see justice being played. To get the real idea of the theme of justice, I looked at what justice means. The meaning of justice according to dictionary.com is rightfulness. Now looking back at the beginning of the book, George told Lennie, “I ain’t takin’ it away just’ for meanness. That mouse ain’t fresh, Lennie; and besides, you’ve broke it pettin’ it. You get another mouse that’s fresh and I’ll let you keep it a little while.” In this context George is trying to be nice to Lennie and make it up for him by offering him another mouse. However, what kind of justice is offering up innocent mice as something Lennie can kill? Another place where I am questioning justice is in the end of the book when George kills Lennie. My question is, do you like that George killing Lennie is right? On one hand, Lennie did kill Curley’s wife and was going to suffer a lot more from Curly. On the other hand, Lennie didn’t deserve to die because he didn’t know what was happening. Also how is something justice if killing Lennie isn’t going to do anything? By killing Lennie, they are just creating more problems and Curley’s wife isn’t going to come back. I am really confused in this system with the law and what’s right because I can see both sides. Maybe Steinbeck doesn’t want us to pick a side but instead see how justice changes depending on the situation? I don’t know, what do you guys think?

  3. In class today we discussed lots of themes, motifs, and symbols. In my group, the idea of change, or lack thereof, in the characters came up. At first, we didn’t know whether it was a symbol or if it was relevant at all. Then I started to think about how the book ends where it starts, and in the scene, with Crooks, he ends with rubbing the lotion on his back just as the beginning of the scene. And I also realized how there are no changes in the characters. In most books, at least one character changes in some way. When I also thought back to how we discussed how the farm represented America at the time, it all came together. The lack of change represents America in that time period. Innocent African Americans died, yet nothing changed. People were still racist and woman had no rights. This is just like this book. Lennie, who is arguably innocent, dies. Yet in the end, they end up at the river and nothing is different.

    Discussion Questions:
    Was the only purpose of this book to show America at the time?
    If he wanted to show how racism didn’t change, why not kill Crooks?

    • I agree with you on how nothing changed really. Everyone is still the same, and the racism and stereotypes are still present. Nice job, Abigail.

  4. Something small yet not insignificant that I noticed while reading the last bits of Of Mice and Men was the idea of a character’s actions versus their actual intentions. In other words, many events occurred in the story because of the actions of someone, even though they had different intentions. A great example of someone who does things they don’t mean to do is Lennie. For example, when Lennie does all these bad things like grabbing the girl’s dress in Weed, killing the puppy and even Curley’s wife, his intentions aren’t malicious. The only reason he did all those things was because he didn’t understand what he was doing. Another example is when George is forced to shoot Lennie in the head. From someone else’s view, it may have appeared as if George shot him in the head because of his crime. However, he truly only did it with good intentions. If he let Lennie live, he would have either been shot in the guts and died painfully, or been left to rot in jail.

    • Great blog! I liked all of your ideas. They were all so interesting and I didn’t even think about them before you mentioned them. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  5. I really enjoyed rereading Of Mice and Men, and getting to take a closer look at the text. I feel like I found a lot more themes and symbols in the second reading. I want to discuss multiple different themes that we were brainstorming in class. One of them is dreams. I really find it interesting how Steinbeck portrays dreams throughout the novella. Lennie and George had this one big dream of owning their own ranch, and that’s what kept them motivated for a while. But in the end, all they got was depression (not to mention the readers, too). And I feel like Steinbeck can be interpreted in multiple ways. For example, some may argue that dreams were good. It kept them going in a difficult time, and when Lennie died, he was happy. However, others might argue that Steinbeck is trying to say that dreams are irrational and bring nothing but pain, because it’s so much more disappointing when it fails. And I believe that the mouse in the beginning of the novel is like Lennie. Only thinking about the present, trusting that the future will end exactly the way he wants it to. And yet, it dies, by his own strength. It really ties in with another theme of control. Not just physical control and restraint, but control over our futures. None of the characters had any control over how they would end up. Curley’s wife wanted to become an actress, but instead she ended up at the ranch, married to a guy she doesn’t even like. And no matter how much George tried to make it possible, he never got his ranch with Lennie. Speaking of George and Lennie, I want to talk about the ending. When George was going to kill Lennie, he reminded Lennie about his fantasy. Lennie was so contented and at peace when he died. Could Steinbeck be saying something about freedom? Maybe he’s saying that the only freedom we ever truly have is in our dreams.

    Moving on to a completely unrelated topic, I also want to talk about loneliness and companionship. So many of these characters are alone in their lives. Candy, after his dog died; George, after Lennie died; Crooks, on account of being black; and Curley’s wife, who, despite being married (albeit unhappily), is still lonely. And contrary to Crooks’ original thoughts, we do need someone to depend on. George and Lennie are such a good fit because they complement each other (not as in praise, but as in are opposite to). George is the smarter, more complex character, and Lennie is the dumber, more naive character. And together, they can make up for their strengths and weaknesses. George is scared of being alone, and Lennie needs someone to teach him how to think. And I also want to bring up that Slim thought it was funny that George and Lennie were traveling together, because he is so used to everyone on the ranch being alone. And while Slim may find it odd, companionship is the one thing that everyone needs.

  6. George famously kills his best friend, Lennie, in the last chapter of the book. After Lennie kills Curley’s wife, he escapes to the place that George wanted him to go to if he got in trouble. Lennie thinks that George will make him happy again and that they will run off to another area again, but George had decided that he had to do what was noble. George tells Lennie about their ranch, and tells Lennie that they will be going there now. He then proceeds to shoot Lennie in the back of his head, thus ending the possibility of even more damage being done to other people by Lennie. Death is commonly seen in the book. It starts with tiny mice, and rises to a full human being. Lennie had killed a number of mice, and while he did not mean to, he still took away life. He then killed a much bigger animal, a puppy, and then shortly proceeded to kill a fellow human. After so much killing, it was Lennie’s turn to die, and even though he did not mean it and did not recognize the severity of his actions, he deserved it in a way. A tiny life such as a mouse means just as much as a human’s life. When anything dies, it leaves something behind. A family is mourning for any living thing that dies, and Lennie took away a lot of those valuable lives. Life is the most important thing in the world, and when Lennie took it away, it was always coming that he would suffer a cruel death as well.

  7. With the conclusion of Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, we the readers experience Lennie arrival at the riverbed to his death. This setting of the riverbed is very significant to the story because it is where the story began and ended. Anyways, Lennie asks him to tell the story of their farm, and George curves his question and explains that most men drift along, without any companions. This somewhat foreshadows the upcoming death of Lennie and supports the idea that dreams often come with sorrows. Oftentimes, we place high expectations for ourselves that we usually don’t achieve. This theme of dreams/expectations is especially evident in the ending of this novel. George instructs Lennie to take off his hat and look across the river while he describes their farm. George tells, the very innocent, Lennie about the rabbits and promises that nobody will ever be rude to him again. This also somewhat foreshadows the tragic ending. Immediately, George raises Carlson’s gun and shoots Lennie in the back of the head. As Lennie falls to the ground and becomes still, George tosses the gun away and sits down on the riverbank. The theme of death is seen in this murder of Lennie, which was likely affected by minorities, and dreams. Overall, while rereading the conclusion Of Mice and Men, I have noticed many themes and motifs.

    Discussion Questions:
    Why did George make the decision to kill Lennie?
    What was the best possible reason for George killing Lennie?
    Since George had control of Lennie, why didn’t he just tell him that he was going to kill him?

  8. In class a few days ago, during our first read, we discussed Lennie’s death. It really stood out to be because I really did not expect it. I thought that Lennie’s death was very significant. After all, what are the chances of the main protagonist dying? When I first read the novella, I made a connection to Lennie’s death and the death of Candy’s dog. Lennie follows around George like a dog, and obeys George. However, during the re-read, I thought about what this all means. Frankly, I really am not sure. What I do know, is that Lennie’s death caused lots of change. The death of Curley’s wife caused Lennie’s death, and after Lennie’s death, George is left lonely. It all seems so sudden. One minute they are thinking of the future, the next one is dead (not trying to sound morbid), and one is left lonely. We talked and I wrote about loneliness before, especially because George and Lennie had an extraordinary companionship. George is now left lonely. From Crooks we know that loneliness is bad, and that it sucks the life away from you. George is left with a pretty bad fate; after just one event. Steinbeck might be showing us how powerful our actions can be, and how important your decisions are. Lennie killed Curley’s wife, which ultimately ended his life. George left Lennie alone (even though Lennie was with Crooks), which led to Lennie’s death and loneliness. One event can change someone’s life.

    What is Steinbeck trying to tell us about Lennie’s death?
    (It has got to have a meaning, I mean, who kills of such a sweet character, just because?)

  9. In the end of Of Mice and Men, I noticed that Candy blamed Curley’s wife because now he, Lennie, and George could not have their farm. “‘Ever’body knowed you’d mess things up. You wasn’t no good. You ain’t no good now, you lousy tart.’”(pg.95) But was Curley’s wife really to blame? This brings up the idea of blame. Curley’s wife was the one who let Lennie pet her hair, and the one who made him panic when she told him to let go and screamed, but Lennie was the one who decided to talk to her in the first place. Lennie could have ignored her just as George told him to. Was Candy right to blame Curley’s wife, or was Lennie not as innocent as he seemed? What I also found interesting in our reading today/yesterday that Slim was the one who actually checked if Curley’s wife was dead. He was the one that checked her pulse and her neck. It was hinted that Curley’s wife and Smil might be together, and the fact that Curley didn’t go himself to check if his wife was really dead might be telling us that he doesn’t care about her that mch, and that Slim might have liked Curley’s wife. We know that Curley’s wife did not love Curley, but did Curley like her? If he did care for her like a husband, he should have been the one to check her pulse. Maybe it was shock that made him stop, or maybe he just didn’t care about her.
    1) Was Lennie innocent when he killed Curley’s wife?
    2)Why didn’t Curley check his wife’s pulse when he saw her in the barn? Does he love her, or does he feel about her like she does about him?

    • Great response, you’re points were clearly thought out and your discussion questions were really good!

  10. While in class today, we talked about themes, motifs, symbols and images and one of those brought up the idea of how Of Mice and Men was one of those great American novels that was written by John Steinbeck. This novella brings up many classic American ideas that we know very well and can be considered good and bad. He brings up very political topics like racism, discrimination against women and disabled men and women and the lower class working man. Throughout the entirety of the novella, we learn more about the hardships that people like Lennie who was mentally disabled and Candy who was physically disabled go through when someone calls them incompetent. We read how someone like Curley’s wife gets judged too soon and is often labeled as a “tart” before she even has a chance to explain herself. The book goes on while we learn about the working men in the ‘20s who had nothing but themselves to live off of and were all alone while they worked for every penny. And how someone like Crooks, who is educated, and keeps to himself is forced to be alone and learn all his rights so that no one can wrongly accuse him based off their wrong morals and the color of his skin. Steinbeck showed us what America was like back in 1920 and what it still tends to be today. Although we have improved, America is not at all perfect and still deals with the same hardships listed above and many, many more. Many people could wonder how this novella has survived the test of time and stayed so popular and well known but in the grand scheme of things, this is not a surprise. The same people who read this novel in the 1900’s and people like our class reading it today, all relate to the book on some level. Without getting too deep, John Steinbeck touches on many levels of America that are good and bad and he makes you understand just why they are important to be aware of and to learn about.

    Discussion questions #1-#3
    Other than the ones I mentioned, what were some other topics that Steinbeck chose to touch upon in his novella?
    What are some good ideals that Steinbeck brought to life in his novella?
    If you could, what relatable points in American society would you add to this list in order to teach people lessons and further their understanding of topics?

    • Great blog Ryan! This novella has lasted so long since people can relate to it and I think you summed that up nicely. Well done!

  11. In class we discussed the idea that the book “Of Mice and Men” begins and ends in the same place. The novella begins by a river while George and Lennie are on their way to the ranch. “A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep green…” (Pg. 1). The novella ends in the same place with George killing Lennie. “The deep green pool of the Salinas River was still in the late afternoon…” (Pg. 99). Also, chapter 4 starts and ends the same way. In the beginning Crooks in sitting in his room alone, applying liniment to his back. “Crooks sat on his bunk. His shirt was out of his jeans in back. In one hand he held a bottle of liniment, and with the other he rubbed his spine…” (Pg. 67). After Crooks opens up to Lennie, Curley’s wife and Candy, he goes back to doing the same thing. “Crooks sat on his bunk and looked at the door for a moment, and then he reached for the liniment bottle…” (Pg. 83). I think that having the chapter and the book start and end in the same places is showing that although Lennie is dead and Crooks has finally told someone how he feels, life is still going to go on the way it was. These events may seem life changing, but really everybody is going to get past it. I started thinking about what Steinbeck might be saying by writing the novella this way. I took this as a life lesson- although some things may seem like the end of the world, they are just small events in the grand scheme of things. This applies to many people’s lives today. So many people make a big deal out of something that is small. If people just take a step back and think about how unimportant one small event is in your life, then I think people could be much happier. Although I agree with what Steinbeck is trying to say, I think that death doesn’t apply and he shouldn’t have used Lennie’s death as an unimportant event in life.

  12. After re-reading the last part of, Of Mice and Men, I looked more closely at Lennie’s death and after his death. Lennie goes too far when he accidentally kills Curley’s wife. Curley is furious and wants to get him killed. Lennie goes to his safe place and waits for George. When George arrives, he is forced to shoot Lennie so he does not have to suffer. Many may see this as George killing Lennie because of the damage he has done. However, after re-reading, I realized that George did so because Lennie was his friend, and he did not want to see Lennie in pain. George tells Lennie to look in the other direction and wants him to imagine the barn that they would live in, together and while he was at peace and thinking good thoughts, George shot him while Lennie was at peace and happy. “Lennie begged, “Le’s do it now. Le’s get that place now.” “Sure, right now. I gotta. We gotta.” And George raised the gun and steadied it, and he brought the muzzle of it close to the back of Lennie’s head. The hand shook violently, but his face set and his hand steadied. He pulled the trigger. The crash of the shot rolled up the hills and rolled down again. Lennie jarred, and then settled slowly forward to the sand, and he lay without quivering.” This sounds depressing, and it kind of is, but it is a good thing for Lennie.

  13. In class today, we analyzed the multiple themes, motifs, and symbols found in this novella, Of Mice and Men. One theme that I have always found a certain interest is Lennie’s innocence. In this novella, multiple people are shown in which they have their own disability or insecurity, whether being black, having one hand or being a “tart”. Due to Lennie’s mental disability, he is very naive and innocent, as he believes anything anyone tells him. When he encounters Crooks, he doesn’t see color. Lennie doesn’t understand racism, as a whole. He sees things as very simple and concrete. However, the world around him sees something completely different, and sees Lennie from a different perspective. From the very beginning, we read about how all Lennie wanted to do was touch the girls dress. However, as the girl resisted, Lennie used his strength to touch a little longer. He saw it as a harmless interaction. The world saw it as attempted (r word- didn’t allow me to post it) or sexual harassment. The only person who really sees Lennie is George, who has stood by his side the entire time. When he was accused of (r word) , George hid out with him, stayed with him, cared for him, and took him under his wing. We see the same instance with Curley’s wife and Lennie. All innocent and clueless Lennie wanted to do was touch Curley’s wife’s hair as she openly talked about her feelings. However, as things quickly escalated Lennie killed her. However, George knew that the best thing for Lennie was to kill him. George is the father figure or an older brother for Lennie. He had always looked out for Lennie and what was good for him.

    • Great response Anjali! I like how you talked about the theme of innocence, that is something I have seen a lot as well.

  14. In this blog tonight, I want to talk about how the end of the book started the same way it started; at the river. This is inspired by Abby’s idea of how Steinbeck is saying that after everything America goes through, we still return back to hatred and separation. For example, we had slavery, which was definitely one of the rough parts of american history. You would think that after books and speeches and an entire civil war based off of this human rights issue, America would learn their lesson and treat everyone with kindness now. Right? Wrong? America continued with segregation for about 100 years after slavery was outlawed. Did that war make no difference.. Women gained the right to vote a long time ago, yet they are still paid less than men, and are not seen as equal. It’s as if society forgets all the struggling and fighting people go through. Of Mice and Men took us through a journey to see the world through the world of a mentally challenged man, a black man, an old lonely man, and a woman who is treated like an object. There were conversations and dreams, beautiful moments throughout this story. Yet it didn’t matter. Crooks opened up about his opinions, but he is still treated exactly the same. Lennie had dreams of a simple life, but was killed and nothing changed on the ranch. Furthermore, I re-read the last few pages of the novel, where George is telling Lennie about the dream farm of their own. This is the most brilliant part of the book in my opinion. ” ‘You… an’ me. Ever’body gonna be nice to you. Ain’t gonna be no more trouble. Nobody gonna hurt nobody nor steal from ’em.’ Lennie said, ‘I thought you was mad at me, George.’ ‘No,’ said George. ‘No, Lennie. I ain’t mad. I never been mad, an’ I ain’t now. That’s a thing I want ya to know.’ ” I love this part so much because George knows that Lennie will not find happiness here on earth. George knows that things won’t change. George also wanted Lennie to know that he did nothing wrong really, he will never be mad at him. This all takes place by the river, where George told Lennie to go when things get bad. The river represents comfort, where George and Lennie go to just get away from the harsh things life throws at them. I am so glad we ended up re-reading this book because there are so many things I have discovered in the second time reading that I would have never seen.

    • I enjoyed reading your blog. I was initially thinking about writing my blog on how the ending and the beginning are so similar. Your analysis was great, and I like how you included real-life examples to back your claims. I am not sure if I agree with your final sentences. Can we find happiness on earth? I believe that both George and Lennie were happy together and exceptionally happy at some points in the story, For example, when Candy volunteers to help pay for their dream home, George and Lennie were truly happy. Whether or not George and Lennie were ever happy, your blog was excellent and clearly showed the hard work you put into it.

  15. Tonight we finished the great novella “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck. In the final chapter, there were two crucial moments I would like to talk about. Lennie’s hallucinations were extremely helpful to the reader by giving insights on Lennie. Lennie first hallucinated that he saw his Aunt Clara. Aunt Clara discussed with Lennie how much George sacrificed to be with Lennie. When Lennie said he would just run away to save George the trouble, Aunt Clara knew immediately that George’s statement was an empty threat. George would never leave Lennie.

    “I know, Aunt Clara, ma’am. I’ll go right off in the hills an’ I’ll fin’ a cave an’ I’ll live there so I won’t be no more trouble to George.” (Aunt Clara Speaking) “You jus’ say that,… well you ain’t never gonna do it.

    The second hallucination is of a rabbit. This rabbit talks about how useless Lennie actually is. These dialogues between Lennie and his hallucinations are a way for Steinbeck to show Lennie’s feelings. The illusions are just Lennie’s internal voice. We learn from this section that Lennie actually regrets forcing George to take care of him so much. Yet he cares about George excessively and depends on George too much to every leave George. Lennie wants to stay with George together and wants George to join him on the dream farm. Sadly, it is George who ends Lennie’s dreams and kills him; even if it is for a better purpose.

    After reading this chapter, I have some questions. We see Lennie as innocent. He never meant to hurt anyone. However, Lennie stilled murdered someone. So, is Lennie actually innocent and does he deserve his punishment? A few chapters ago, Lennie badly hurt Curley’s pride by beating him in a fight. Curley may not have externally expressed his rage, but I am sure he was seething inside. Curley’s wife didn’t love Curley, so it is fair to assume Curley didn’t really like her back. When Curley found his wife dead, he was instantly intent on killing Lennie. Did Curley want to kill Lennie over his wife or was she just an excuse so Curley could avenge his pride?

  16. After wrapping up our second reading of this book, it’s still heartbreaking to watch Lennie die. However, it feels more heartbreaking this time because we’ve gone over and shown emphasis on everything George has done for him. After digging deep to prove how much George cares about Lennie, it’s sadder now to truly understand how difficult it was for George to put Lennie down. Seeing how unaware Lennie was of what George was doing ultimately brought me to looking back at unawareness as a concept.

    As George prepares himself to shoot Lennie, there is no indication that Lennie knows what is going on. In fact, he’s so interested in hearing about their perfect future that he insists George goes on while George lines up the shot. A sad and awful fate a first glance, but perhaps it wasn’t as bad as it looked. Obviously, Lennie was happy when George shot him. Lennie loves nothing more than the image of the perfect farm. Therefor, he was in his best mood at death. Also, Lennie at times was a burden to George. While George is almost horrified at himself (shown by him staring at his hand after shooting Lennie), he will have less to worry about it the future. Therefore, perhaps Lennie being unaware of his surroundings is for the best.

    Q1: Could being unaware of the world around you make you a better person? Or will it just make you uneducated and slow to get concepts?

    Also, Lennie is unaware of the troubles that most people face. His personality is always in a pretty good mood or just scared of George yelling at him. Other characters are all visibly impacted by their “disabilities” for their stereotypes. Lennie, however, is able to avoid the pessimistic attitude and stay positive.

    Q2: Could being unaware of ideas and concepts that hold you back allow you to succeed to your best ability?

    • I really like your blog, Matt! George is living a difficult life having to watch over Lennie. Lennie had no real sense of the world around him, and that set him back tremendously. When Lennie was unaware of his fate when George was about to shoot him made his death quick, and he did die happy. Perhaps George had the mentality that Lennie would be in a better place when he was finished. Great blog and questions!

  17. After rereading Of Mice and Men in its entirety, I feel as though I have a deeper understanding of the story. The last chapter shows Lennie having an internal fight where he is having a conversation with his late Aunt Clara, and a rabbit. Each of these parts of Lennie’s brain are full of negativity, and despise Lennie. Poor Lennie just tries to fight it off and ignore them. I was interested in where these voices came from. Is this reality breaking through to Lennie? Maybe his Aunt used to yell at him like that when she was alive and taking care of him. So maybe his Aunt being his conscience is translating that she played that role when she took care of Lennie. Then, we see a rabbit scolding Lennie. To me, this was like Lennie’s own dream sneaking up on him and telling him that his dream is impossible and ridiculous. This could be the logic in his brain coming through to tell Lennie that he will never have his dream farm. Like I said, this is coming from a different part of Lennie’s mind. The reader only gets a look into Lennie’s mind when he acts out, and interacts with others on the farm. But in this part, he is all alone, left with his thoughts. And this is the first time we see Lennie’s negative conscience break through, when he is alone. All throughout the novella, especially during my reread, I’ve noticed the relationship, interactions, and social classes of each character. For example, we really dug deep into our analysis of the chapter with Crooks, Lennie, Candy, and Curley’s wife. That whole part shows the minorities of the farm come together out of their own loneliness and share their dreams and pasts. Many characters break the stereotypes that the reader would expect to exist. Crooks is the only african american on the farm who enjoys being alone. But then we see him open up, and he truly loves companionship and studies his rights. Curley’s wife is seen as the “tart” on the farm. When really she just isn’t happy with her life. She just really needed someone to open up to. I also payed attention to Lennie’s death scene. When Candy’s dog had been shot, Candy tells George that he wished that he had been the one to shoot his own dog. This made me think of the moment when George shot Lennie. George could control when he shot, or how he did it. But George decided to end Lennie by having him turn around and talk about their dream farm. George knew that if he had Lennie look into the distance to picture the farm, it would make Lennie’s transition into the afterlife easier. However, Lennie is a good example of having no control. He has no power over his own strength, and he never understood the true crime he would commit. But Lennie did not have that control. I have to say, this has been one of my favorite books to read this year, and I’m very excited to see where the analysis takes us.

  18. Tonight, I felt it was nessicary to talk about death and symbolism. I have found death to be a constant theme throughout Of Mice and Men, first beginning with Lennie finding the dead mouse on the side of the road and ending with George having to kill Lennie. If one were to closely examine the death in this story, they would find that it could be divided into two categories, accidental and purposeful. All of the death in the story that has been accidental or a possibility of accidental death has been at the fault of Lennie. Meanwhile, the other death in the story is spread out among the other characters. This brought me to the idea of Lennie’s death. Lennie’s death was purposeful, and the cause of George not wishing any further harm to come of him. George attempted to make his death as painless and as unexpected as possible. When I think about this now, I realize that there is a symbol earlier in the text displaying a very similar scenario: while in the bunkhouse, Candy is convinced that he should finally kill his old dog. Rather than killing it himself, however, he lets one of the other workers do it. This is almost entirely the same as the scenario with George and Lennie, and yet by being partially different, we can find that George may not have only been inspired, but may have improved upon the decision as well.

  19. In the last few chapters we read, there is a lot of things to address. One thing is the beginning of the chapter, when Lennie killed the puppy. He acted a lot like a little kid. He said how he was told not to do it, but did it anyways. He became angry and upset about the dead puppy. Also, I noticed a similarity between Curley’s wife and George. They both dreamed of a better life without their companions. In a way, Curley’s wife was the more lucky one, because even though George got what he wanted, he lost Lennie, his companion and hope. He talked of how he only thought the little place they’d have was only a false hope he believed because of Lennie. Also, I found what Curley’s wife said was interesting: “Don’t you worry none. He was jus’ a mutt. You can get another one easy. The whole country is fulla mutts.”(p. 87) I found this interesting, as it made me think of how Curley and his wife’s relationship is different from George and Lennie’s and Candy and his dog’s relationships. She may say that it’s fine and that you can just get another mutt, but I don’t think she understands how close two living things can be. She is a bit like Carlson, when he said that Candy’s dog needs to go. Unlike George and Lennie’s relationship, Curley and his wife has no love going between them. It’s more of a one way relationship. I do find it interesting though why Curley’s wife should just leave him and find someone else. Last thing, I find it ironic that Curley’s wife acts all mighty next to Crooks but no one even knows her name.

  20. I have already asked a few people this question, and I have been wanting to ask the whole class for a while, but i wanted to wait till the end. This question may not be completely school friendly, but I’m curious as to what other people have to say.
    Do we play the game of life to live, or to die?
    Is the prize for all our hard work death? Or is it life?

    Depending on what people believe in, (religion and other stuff) everyone will have very different answers to this question, which is why I wanted to ask it. This is not a correct answer, (as far as I know) but we can still try to figure out what most people believe, and maybe even change some peoples opinions.

    This question is not just good because I’m curious, but it also relates to the text, especially in the end. When George kills Lennie, he tells Lennie to picture their farm (the dream farm, not the ranch). Lennie asks if they can go to the farm now, and George says yes, and then shoots him. This goes along with the argument that death is the “medal” for “winning” life. The farm is what Lennie had always wanted, once he heard of it of course. And George tells Lennie that he is going to the farm right before he kills him, implying that the farm is like heaven. You go there after you die as a prize for living a clean, good life. Lennie gets to go to the farm, but it’s not time for George yet, and he still has to work to be able to go to the farm.

    I just thought that this would be a good question to start up an interesting conversation in class. As long as everyone participates, this question could occupy the whole class period, maybe longer.

  21. In this last section of,Of Mice and Men, George tragically shoots Lennie. George is forced to do this after Lennie accidentally kills Curley’s wife. George, like the true friend he is, decided to spare Lennie from Curley and a lunch mob, and ended Lennie’s life before Curley could arrive. I wish Lennie didn’t die but I feel like that was his course in the story. George can only control Lennie so much. Lennie will just keep killing things and people, and getting run out of twins and hunted by lynch mobs. The cycle of destruction from Lennie would most likely never end. I think it might’ve been best for George and Lennie if Lennie went to a better place. I think the ranch George has been describing for Lennie has been a symbol of heaven. So in Lennie’s final minutes, George describes Lennie’s idea of heaven which is the ranch that they were supposed to share. Lennie was an innocent man, but the odds were stacked against him. There was truly no way he could’ve been happy and accepted in such a judgmental and close minded time. People were never going to understand Lennie or understand why he did the things he did. He would only ever find peace in his heaven.

    I think overall, rereading actually enriched my understanding of the novel and the messages and themes. At first, I didn’t notice the themes of power and minorities, but I surely did on the second read through. There were a lot of small details that would’ve gone over my head if I hadn’t read it again. Rereading also gives you more time to develop certain ideas you have about the book, and devolve deeper into the characters. Crooks and Lennie’s conversation really wasn’t as significant to me the first time I read it, but in the second read I noticed so much more about both their characters.

  22. In the last section of the novella Lennie gets out of control and kills Curlys wife by accident. Lennie doesn’t realize how seriousness this situation, but unfortunately George does realize the extent of this dilemma. He realizes that Lennie is going to be lynched or worse either way. Curly was going to kill Lennie himself. Eventhough what George did to Lennie was sad and depressing, he actually saved Lennie. He saved Lennie from the harsh reality of life. Lennie always was sheilded by reality through his ignorance of hate and emotions that make people people. Lennie always lived in his own dream like world where he just wanted rabbits and to be at the “farm” . This is why George kept reminding Lennie of this farm, so that Lennie could die happily in the farm. He didn’t have to face this harsh reality. Even Though he has killed multiple things before, he didn’t realize the full extent of what he did. Some might say that he died innocent.
    Why would George not let Lennie grow up?

  23. While rereading last chapters of *Of Mice and Men*, I kept in mind the thought of change. There is a very clear theme of change in this novella that can be combined with the idea that all the characters represent the people of America at the time, (and possibly yet today). First, there are the actual changes that happen. One is that Lennie kills the pup he was playing with. It could be argued that the killing of this pup seals his fate, as Curley’s wife then walks up to him. Curley’s wife walks up and tries to talk to Lennie, while Lennie resists, saying that George had told him to never talk to her. The second change that takes place is when Curley’s wife finally convinces Lennie to talk to her, saying “I ain’t doin’ no
    harm to you.” The first change now is for the worse, possibly being the cause of Lennie’s death, and now the second is seemingly good: Curley’s wife, as a woman finally gets to talk to someone other than Curley, whom she doesn’t like anyway. The fatality of the situation sets in when Curley’s wife tells Lennie to stroke her hair, if he wants to stroke something soft. As expected, though, Lennie starts stroking harder, then tries to silence her when she tries to scream, tensing him, and leading him to killing Curley’s wife. It develops an interesting theme of how anything soft and likable winds up overused, broken, or dead. But referring back to change, this is a huge one. This change undoubtedly directly sets up a demand to lynch Lennie, which then leads George to killing him mercifully. This change is probably the most significant one in the novella, but even then, has no real impact. When the mob arrives, slim literally says “Come on, George. Me an’ you’ll go in an’ get a drink.”, symbolizing that really, nothing has changed, and George just goes back to drinking, and then probably to field work. And, to top it all off, the very last dialogue proves the complete disregard of any change that might have occured: “Now what
    the hell ya suppose is eatin’ them two guys?”. This is definitely a very strong message from Steinbeck, saying that Americans, and maybe people in general, do not tolerate change. While this was a book written in the 1930s, and therefore written for that time, this still carries over today, in how people, Americans especially, want to revert to isolationism, like in “the good old times”, when America was great. In reality, though, what brings about greatness is the willingness and initiative to make new changes.

  24. The last chapter of Of Mice and Men has a lot of important ideas and moments in it. The first one I noticed is how serene and quiet the scene is. Not to mention it’s the same place the story began, but it’s a very peaceful place to die, even under the circumstances. “The deep green pool of the Salinas River was still in the late afternoon. Already the sun had left the valley to go climbing up the slopes of the Gabilan mountains, and the hilltops were rosy in the sun. But by the shade among the mottled sycamores, a pleasant shade had fallen.” (pg 99) It almost reminds me of the calm before the storm, in a way.`Another important part of this chapter is when Lennie is imagining his Aunt Clara and the talking rabbit. These are both some of Lennie’s key memories, which makes me wonder if it’s maybe a “life flashing before your eyes” kind of thing. They were both voicing his worst fears, which may have been him thinking of his regrets before he dies, even though he doesn’t know it yet. When George finds him, he is very calm and soothing and tells Lennie about the farm for the last time. He comforts his friend before he has to let him go, which I think is the ultimate proof of their relationship and friendship.

  25. Of Mice and Men is a beautifully moving novella. I believe that when John Steinbeck wrote this novella, By focusing on the working class, he really does shine a new light on the animalistic tendencies of human nature. The way that the working men are often portrayed as lonely workers. This portrays the bottom of the social pyramid of that time-frame. This novella showcases the brutality of the social hierarchy in human nature. The novella really influences many readers to the truth of real human instinct and mind.

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