Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck

Literary Notes on Of Mice and Men

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Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck by Mind Map: Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck

1. Characters

1.1. Lennie

1.1.1. big in build, shapeless in face and has mental disability. He often gets himself into trouble since he likes petting soft things but his abnormal strength often kills the animal.

1.2. George

1.2.1. foil of Lennie, small, dark, smart, cares for Lennie and is devoted.

1.3. Candy

1.3.1. old ranch handyman, lost his hand in an accident, worries about his future on the ranch & therefore wants to join George and Lennie's plan/dream.

1.4. Curley's wife

1.4.1. the only female character; flirtacious.

2. Plot

2.1. George and Lennie head to California in order to pursue the American dream and find a job on a ranch.

2.2. George takes care of Lennie even though he had a mental instability.

2.3. George does the talking in hopes of hiding Lennie's disability, so they lie and say they are cousins.

2.4. George confided in Slim that they are not truly cousins and how they fled from their last job because Lennie touched a woman's dress and was accused of rape.

2.5. Slim gave Lennie a puppy, which Lennie accidentally killed when petting (foreshadowing).

2.6. Candy hears of George and Lennie's dream and wants to join in, offering his savings.

2.7. Lenny broke Curley's hand on accident when he instigates him.

2.8. When Curley's wife tries to comfort Lennie, she allows him to pet her hair. When Lennie pulled too hard on accident, she screamed.

2.9. In an attempt to silence her, Lennie accidentally broke her neck.

2.10. Lennie fled to the river, where George and Lennie agreed they would meet if things went wrong,

2.11. By the river, George shot Lennie to save him the pain that would come when the men from the ranch found Lennie.

2.12. By the river, George shot Lennie to save him the pain that would come when the men from the ranch found Lennie.

3. Literary Techniques

3.1. Foreshadowing

3.1.1. When the dog was killed to end his suffering. Lennie getting killed by George to end his misery.

3.1.2. Lennie killed the mouse at the beginning of the novel on accident as he was petting it for his fondness of soft things. Lennie killed Curley's wife on accident when he was petting her hair.

3.2. Diction

3.2.1. old "farmer type", Southern style language, improper grammar, the dialogue shows they are uneducated.

3.3. Foil

3.3.1. George & Lennie

4. Theme

4.1. Companionship/Friendship

4.1.1. Even though Lennie had a mental disability and made George's life far more difficult, having to constantly relocate, watch him, and take care of him, George stayed by Lennie's side.

4.1.2. In the end, George shot and killed Lennie not out of violence, but to insure a quick, painless death and to avoid the pain, confusion, and violence that would have surely came when the ranch workers found Lennie, including Curley, whose wife Lennie killed.