January 23

“An live off the fatta the lan!”

This evening, please re-read Of Mice and Men through page 17 and then use your blog to discuss themes, images, and motifs that you notice.  Be sure to include many specific text-based details in your commentary.  Be sure also to reply to your classmates as the discussion evolves over the course of the evening.

Also, don’t forget to annotate your text as you read and 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 #1


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Posted January 23, 2019 by equinson in category Of Mice and Men

29 thoughts on ““An live off the fatta the lan!”

  1. Myles Ng

    John Steinbeck provided good description of the setting throughout the chapter. The two characters that the story focuses on seem to be foils. Lenny is very loyal to George, he seems to be on the dumber side, he is also very big and bulky, and he is a follower. Unlike Lenny, George is smaller and seems to be smarter, smaller, but a leader. These characters, being opposites, move the story along and provide both conflict and resolution.

    Reply
    1. Zoe

      I agree that the author really focused on creating a setting before he introduced any characters, and the bunnies in the scene before Lennie and George might be an important part of that scenery.

      Reply
  2. Kate Ma.

    In these beginning pages of, of Mice and Men, I’ve noticed the roles in the book, Lennie always acting like a kid, while George would be his “parent”. Throughout the pages we’ve read so far, I’ve seen this occur a few times. George, being the small, smart man and Lennie, the bigger, more mentally slow man are our main protagonists so far. We can tell that Lennie has major problems based on his dialogue as well as the stories presented. We can infer in many instances, how Lennie resembles a kid in George and his’s relationship. First, Lennie decides to drink dirty water without being sure it was safe, while George continues to scold him. Next, Lennie keeps a dead mouse with him that he continues to “pet”. It’s inferred that Lennie did in fact kill it, by petting it a little hard. Adults usually do not display these behaviors. Later, George threw away multiple mice as Lennie has a “petting” problem of some sort, again, not usual adult behaviors. One of the more obvious examples being how when George talked about what his life would be without Lennie, Lennie got his feelings hurt. For instance, George says “No look! I was just foolin Lennie. Cause I want you to stay with me. Trouble with mice is you always kill em. Tell you what I’ll do, Lennie. First chance I get I’ll give you a pup. Maybe you wouldn’t kill it. That’d be better than mice. And you could pet it harder.” This occurred after Lennie got his feelings hurt, and just like a parent, George tried to cheer Lennie up by talking about a puppy. In this first chapter, I’ve come to realize the roles in their relationship. George demonstrates behaviors and responsibilities of a parent, while Lennie indicates behaviors of a child.

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  3. Mikayla Friedman

    As I reread the first chapter of Of Mice and Men, I noticed the motif of animals kept appearing. Lennie mentioned rabbits or mice quite a few times during the chapter. For instance, “‘Tried and tried,’ said Lennie, ‘but it didn’t do no good. I remember about the rabbits, George.'” (p. 4) George then continues to say that the only thing Lennie can remember is rabbits. Next, Lennie is stroking a dead mouse in his pocket until George realizes, and then makes Lennie get rid of the mouse. Lennie doesn’t listen at first, he doesn’t want to get rid of the dead mouse. He makes a good argument, saying “‘I don’t know why I can’t keep it. It ain’t nobody’s mouse. I didn’t steal it. I found it lyin’ right beside the road.'” (p. 9) George doesn’t give in, and he throws the mouse a far distance. It turns out that Lennie’s dead aunt used to give him mice, but always killed them. I think this motif of animals, especially mice, will evolve into an important theme during the book, especially considering the title of the novel, Of Mice and Men.

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  4. Emily

    In this nights reading, one thing that particularly stood out to me was when George was taking away Lennie’s mouse and the scene was described, “Like a terrier who doesn’t want to bring a ball to its master, Lennie approached, drew back, approached again.”(p. 9) Steinbeck includes this simile to allude to the larger idea of George being like Lennie’s master. In this instance, Steinbeck illustrates Lennie’s blind loyalty to George. Since Lennie does not realize that the mouse it dead, and so far George has not yet given him any proof as to why he should give it up, he is insistent on keeping his pet. With that in mind, Lennie’s loyalty to George is so great that he relinquished his mouse over to the hands of George. I wonder how Lennie’s blind loyalty will play into the story in the upcoming chapters. It has to be an important idea throughout the novel, since Steinbeck includes it in the very beginning of the novel in such a prominent way. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

    Reply
    1. Emma Garbowitz

      I agree that Lennie has a very odd connection with the mouse and how he instantly listened to George as soon as he was told to do otherwise.

      Reply
  5. Emma Garbowitz

    As I reread the first chapter of Mice and Men, I noticed the the motif of animals reoccurring over and over again. The two men, Lennie and George continue to see and talk about numerous kinds of animals. The first animal that the men seem to have an obsession with are rabbits, especially Lennie. He seems to really like the creatures and enjoys seeing them in the forest. The text states, “‘Tried and tried,’ said Lennie, ‘but it didn’t do no good. I remember about the rabbits, George.’” Furthermore, along with this thought, Lennie seems to have a very poor recollection of things, yet rabbits are one of the few things that he can remember. Something must have allowed him to remember rabbits, considering he has such a feeble mind. Maybe this will be revealed later in the novel. Another animal that seems to come up a number of times are mice. It seems as though Lennie really likes mice and finds comfort in petting them. However, at the beginning of the novel, the author revealed that Lennie doesn’t seem to be very caring towards others and kills many things. While they were were traveling, Lennie finds a dead mouse. He seems to bond with it and continues to pet and caress it. George seems to disagree with what Lennie thinks and gets rid of the mouse as soon as possible. The mouse might have something to do with the title of the novel and have more meaning than I originally thought. It could possibly have symbolism or relate to a theme later on in the novel.

    Reply
  6. janem

    After reading chapter 1, I noticed the theme of power. First, Lennie and George are both partners, and although Lennie may be bigger and taller, George holds the power between the two of them. George often refers to Lennie as “good boy” when Lennie does something George sees as favorable, which reminds me of the way one might treat a pet. George has also decided that Lennie will not speak when they visit the new ranch, and tells Lennie to hide in a certain brush if he ever gets in trouble.

    Second, I noticed the theme of power with the animals referenced in the book. Lennie loves to keep mice in his pocket so he can pet them, and he really doesn’t care whether they are dead or alive in his pocket. In chapter one, George reminds Lennie that his Aunt Clara used to bring Lennie mice all of the time, but Lennie would always end up squishing their heads and killing them. Here, the theme of power is relevant because Lennie, who is big and strong, kills the frail, defenseless creatures, even though he doesn’t mean to. While Lennie is using his physical attributes to be stronger here, he is weaker compared to George because George is smarter than Lennie.

    This makes me wonder about the rest of the book. Seeing so much relating to the theme of power in chapter one leads me to think about the rest of the book. Does George’s power get weaker, or does George’s power get stronger?

    Reply
  7. jaclynl

    Through tonight’s reading, I began to notice that George seems to have some sort of power over Lennie. Lennie seems to be more of a childish, “good” character. He enjoys things like petting mice, even if they aren’t alive. On the other hand, George definitely seems to be the smarter, more powerful of the two. He acts as though he is taking care of Lennie, telling him what to do. I think that this idea of the two men does have some sort of irony to it since Lennie is the bigger one. George is very small, and seems to be quite weak in the beginning. But not long after, we find out that this is not true at all.

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  8. laila sayegh

    After reading the first chapter of Of Mice and Men, I noticed a reoccurring connection between Lennie and animals. Several times throughout this chapter, Lennie is compared to an animal or even being treated like one. For example, the text claims that Lennie, “walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws. (p. 2) The text also states that, “Lennie dabbled his big paw in the water and wiggled his fingers so the water arose in little splashes” (p. 2) In both of these quotes, Lennie is compared to an animal. We could assume this is possibly because of his size and how tall he is, or we can assume it is meant to show how Lennie is actually treated like an animal himself, especially by George. For starters, George calls Lennie a “Good boy!” whenever he does George likes. It seems as though George has complete control over Lennie. Also throughout this chapter, we’ve seen that Lennie loves to pet animals and even though he sometimes hurts the animals, it’s never intentional. This reminds me of when George hurt Lennie’s feelings. He never meant to hurt Lennie’s feelings. He was just angry.

    Reply
  9. MadiR

    After reading chapter one tonight I noticed that George and Lennie have an unusual friendship. “Lennie broke in. But not us! An’ why ? Because…because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that’s why. He laughed delightedly. Go on now, George!”(p. 14) Lennie recites this after George explains what a special relationship they have. He describes how they will be alright in life because the have each other and will never be lonely. Their friendship reminds me of a normal one. Not too perfect like in some novels. George still gets aggravated because of Lennie and he also acts like the boss or his parent.

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  10. stephaniec

    After reading chapter 1, I noticed a reoccuring theme of loyalty and friendship. I saw this play out between George and Lennie. It is clear that George is extremely loyal to Lennie and has even been loyal to him in the past. George can leave Lennie at any time, but instead he stays with him. George looks out for Lennie and does his best to save him from his own mistakes. When Lennie gets into trouble, George continues to help him with no benefit of his own. After getting yelled at by George, Lennie told George he could go away if that’s what he wanted, giving George a free pass to stop taking care of him. However, George declined and said, “No look! I was jus’ foolin’, Lennie. Cause I want you to stay with me.”(p.13). Even though Lennie is hard to manage, George continues to stick with him.

    Reply
  11. Hannah Pitkofsky

    At the beginning of Of Mice and Men, John Steinback introduces George and Lennie, who are the main characters of the novel, however, they are introduced in an odd way. For starters, Steinback describes the boys before we are formally introduced to them. Steinberg states,

    Reply
  12. Casey

    In the first chapter of this novel, we meet town character, George and Lennie. George is the leader and Lennie follows him. Although they both look out for each other, it is clear that George is the one taking care of Lennie. Lennie seems to have a bad memory, as he forgot about his aunt and forgot where he and George were going. George is the one keeping him out of trouble. He stops Lennie from drinking too much of the dirty water and continuously repeats himself so Lennie remembers. It’s clear that Lennie and George are very loyal to each other.

    Reply
  13. Hannah Pitkofsky

    At the beginning of Of Mice and Men, John Steinback introduces George and Lennie, who are the main characters of the novel, however, they are introduced in an odd way. For starters, Steinback describes the boys before we are formally introduced to them. Steinberg states,

    “and then two men
    emerged from the path and came into the opening by the green pool.
    They had walked in single file down the path, and even in the open one
    stayed behind the other. Both were dressed in denim trousers and in denim coats
    with brass buttons. Both wore black, shapeless hats and both carried tight
    blanket rolls slung over their shoulders. The first man was small and quick, dark
    of face, with restless eyes and sharp, strong features. Every part of him was
    defined: small, strong hands, slender arms, a thin and bony nose. Behind him
    walked his opposite, a huge man, shapeless of face, with large, pale eyes, and
    wide, sloping shoulders; and he walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the
    way a bear drags his paws. His arms did not swing at his sides, but hung
    loosely.
    The first man stopped short in the clearing, and the follower nearly ran over
    him. He took off his hat and wiped the sweat-band with his forefinger and
    snapped the moisture off. His huge companion dropped his blankets and flung
    himself down and drank from the surface of the green pool; drank with long
    gulps, snorting into the water like a horse. The small man stepped nervously
    beside him.
    ‘Lennie!’ he said sharply. ‘Lennie, for God’ sakes don’t drink so much.'”

    This is a strategy that not many authors choose to use because it makes the introduction of the characters more complicated, however, it also provides the reader with more detail about the characters’ looks and personality. Another thing that Steinberg does differently in the first chapter of Of Mice and Men are he introduces the characters while they are not in their home town. Lennie and George are in a swampy area when they are first introduced to the reader. We see more of their personality this way, showing another side of them that we might not have seen if Steinberg had introduced them a different way.

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  14. Zoe

    The first chapter of Of Mice And Men created a basis for the whole story by introducing our main characters and setting up a plan for the events to come. I also believe besides just focusing on the characters and developing them, the author allowed us to predict what would happen next by leaving us a big hint towards what the title meant. The author really focused on telling us a lot about mice, which is in the title of the book, and how they relate to Lenny and his constant state of wanting the mice, killing them, and wanting more. Because of this repetition in the chapter, I believe the story will involve mostly Lennie taking his journey to learn how to take care of mice and keep a job, and help George instead of hurting him. I also believe this may lead to tons of mice being in the ranch where they work or possibly a time where Lennie sneaks back out to find the mouse thrown away in the bush. Another thing, besides the predictions with the title, that really stuck out to me was the offer from Lennie to go away from George and love in a cave to make him happy. This really shows the relationship between them showing that although that would probably be easier for George and make his life better, he loves Lennie and wouldn’t be able to live without him. I think the information learned in this chapter is very valuable for chapters to come and that Lennie and his Mice will be a big part of the story.

    Reply
    1. angelicac1

      I agree that the author allowed us to predict what would happen next by leaving a hint towards the meaning of the title. Your predictions for future chapters are very interesting.

      Reply
  15. maxwellw

    In the first chapter of Of Mice and Men, we’re introduced to George and Lennie. Quickly we learn are opposites in many ways. Not only is George the brains and Lennie the muscle, but their looks are dissimilar since George is small and thin while Lennie is tall and heavy. George plans ahead and makes good choices, but Lennie can’t remember anything and always makes mistakes. They are, however, dressed the same in jeans and jean jackets, carrying small bundles to sleep on which hold their possessions inside.

    Reply
  16. Sophie

    As I read the first chapter of Of Mice and Men, I noticed the motif of the significance of animals. It became very clear that Lennie has some sort of mental disability, as in the way he was acting almost child like when George was reprimanding/disciplining him. Lennie seems like the kind of man to get worried or stressed about behaving correctly and pleasing George, and animals have been a relief to him where he can feel happy and calm. In the text, the narrator stated how Lennie enjoyed petting mice’s soft fur because it made him feel content. Also, Lennie’s favorite story of Georges is the one about owning the bunnies. Lennie knows the story so well, he can repeat it by heart! Overall, the motif of animals is important to shape the story line and Lennie’s character.

    Reply
  17. josepha4

    In this nights reading I discovered the reoccurring theme of nature and animals. This is demonstrated many times throughout the first chapter including the very beginning of the book. “On one side of the river the golden foothill slopes curve up to the strong and rocky Gabilan mountains, but on the valley side the water is lined with trees-willows fresh and green with every spring…”(pg1) Another description of nature and animals is found on page 7. Obviously these two things are connected, the dead mouse Lenny is obsessing over symbolizes something, possibly the independence and responsibility coming with owning a pet makes Lenny feel more useful, as he is the one being constantly taken care of by George. This pet can essentially be seen as an even more helpless Lenny? I’m very intrigued as to what else we will learn about these characters further in the novel.

    Reply
  18. angelicac1

    In the first chapter of Of Mice and Men, George and Lennie, our two main characters, are clearly shown as very diverse characters. George is a small individual that seems to be a smart man. Lennie is a huge and bulky individual that, unlike George, falls more on the unintelligent side. Within the duo, George is the leader and Lennie is an obvious follower. Something about these two characters that I noticed right of the bat was that they are both share a loyal friendship between each other and that they’re somewhat reliant on each other. It was exhibited that Lennie’s childish actions can easily get on George’s nerves and that Lennie’s foolishness can highly annoy George at a quick pace. When Lennie offered to leave George so he wouldn’t annoy him anymore, George’s objection shows readers that although Lennie can be annoying to George, George still remains loyal to his friend. George knows he wouldn’t be the same without Lennie and that Lennie wouldn’t be the same with him. It’s like a mutual understanding between the both of these characters that can be found in loyal friendships.

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  19. trinityt

    In the first chapter, the two main characters, George and Lennie, had been introduced to the readers. These two characters are very diverse and the opposite of each other. Lennie, who is huge and bulky, is more on the unintelligent side. On the other hand, George, who is a small individual, is a smart man. Between the two, George is like the leader and Lennie is the follower. In this chapter, Lennie is showed as a character that seems to forget a lot of things and causing troubles unintentionally. As a result, George got mad at him. When Lennie offered to leave George so he wouldn’t cause trouble for him anymore, George object to the idea. This shows that George and Lennie have a strong friendship between them. If their friendship isn’t strong, then George might not have objected to the idea of Lennie leaving. He knows that things wouldn’t be the same if Lennie isn’t there. They’re both loyal to each other.

    Reply
  20. Brishti Sarkar

    In chapter one, I noticed the contrast between George and Lennie, and how Steinbeck used their differing personalities to reflect upon each other and highlight their personality traits. On one hand, George is described as being small and thin, with sharp features and a dark complexion. He seems cunning and smart. On the other hand, there is Lennie, who is large and wide. He has a short memory span and often forgets things within minutes of being told. The stupidity in Lennie highlights the intelligence in George. In this pair, George acts almost like a parent/guardian towards Lennie. He watches over him, and makes sure he fully understands what is going on. This being said, he curses a lot and simultaneously is constantly fed up with Lennie. They have a unique friendship due to their differences, which make them work better as a duo.

    Reply

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