ENG Of Mice & Men Study Questions

What is the significance of the title of the book ands the poem that inspired the title? No matter how well your plans are, whether you are a mouse or a man, something will destroy them.
How does Steinbeck convey Lennie’s animal-like qualities? By comparing him to a bear when he walks and comparing him to a horse when he drinks
Why does Steinbeck describe the actions of Lennie’s hands? To further convey his animal-like qualities & his uncontrollable brute force
What is George’s attitude toward Lennie in Section 1 of the book? He feels that Lennie is a burden and that his life would be much easier if he didn’t have to look out for Lennie
Explain the connection of Lennie’s mouse and what happens in Weed? Lennie’s uncontrollable hands killed the mouse and scared the girl. The mouse that he killed was soft just like the girl’s dress.
What is George’s dream in Section 1? To find a real job in town and to get a girl
What suggests that the dream of the farm is unrealistic? The fact that they would never be able to stay in one place for too long because of Lennie’s accidents
Give an example of foreshadowing in Section 1. The mouse that Lennie has killed
What details in Section 2 (about the bunkhouse) suggest that the ranch hands have a romantic side? Their cubbies are filled with Western magazines that are filled with cowboys & the cowboys’ girls.
How does the account of Whitey’s quitting add to the book’s mood of alienation? Because when Whitey leaves, it shows that he has no roots
Why is the stable buck set apart from the other men? Because he is an African American with a disability (crooked back)
What does Crooks’ crooked back show? His loneliness, bitterness, and twisted lifestyle
Which characters’ names show symbolic importance? George Milton, Lennie Smalls, Crooks
Explain the importance of George Milton’s name Milton is the author of the epic poem, Paradise Lost
Why is the boss suspicious of George and Lennie? They are traveling together & Lennie never talks.
What explanation is given for Lennie’s mental condition? That Lennie is slow because he was kicked in the head by a horse when he was little
What is Candy’s attitude towards Curley? Candy resents Curley’s arrogance
What is Candy’s opinion of Curley’s wife? Does it seem justified? That she is a flirt; Yes
What qualities of the description of Slim suggest? Respect & wisdom
What is the significance of Slim’s and Carlson’s remarks about the dogs being drowned? It displays the theme survival of the fittest; It is parallel to the mercy killing of Lennie
Give some examples of foreshadowing in Section 2. When Carlson mentions killing Candy’s dog & When Slim warns George & Lennie of Curley and his arrogance
At the start of Section 3, how does Steinbeck comments again on the relationship between Lennie & George. Why is it necessary for for Steinbeck to constantly revisit the nature of relationships between men during the depression? He is focusing on how men isolate themselves from one another & he is commenting on American society during the depression
How does Steinbeck use a discovery in a pulp magazine to reinforce one of the themes of the novel? The wish of Bill Tenner (to have his letter in the magazine) comes true, which rarely happens in the novel; Steinbeck is reinforcing the theme of the Impossibility of the American Dream
Why does silence play an important part in the novel at this point? It sets the mood of loneliness for the men in the bunkhouse
Who is literally being silenced in Section 3? Candy’s dog
How is Candy silenced in Section 3? His only friend, his dog, has been take from him and shot & killed
How are George & Lennie silenced in Section 3? They are forced to work in this awful atmosphere
What does Lennie’s statement about living off the fat of the land suggest allegorically? The Garden of Eden (Paradise) – an environment in which everything needed is provided
How does Lennie, sensitive in nature, show his violence when George mentions the cats that could harm the rabbits on their future ranch? When he threatens to kill any cats that harm the rabbits; This shows that Lennie is sensitive and incapable of living alone
How is Crooks’ loneliness different from the other men on the ranch? Crooks is the only character in the novel that lives permanently on the ranch. Also, his loneliness is not a result of choice – he lives a twisted life marked by prejudice and loneliness. He has no companion because of his race
Who comes to visit Lennie, Candy, and Crooks? What is the real reason for the visit? Curley’s wife comes in search of Curley; The real reason: She is lonely
How is Curley’s wife similar to the men on the ranch? Like the men, her dream never came true & never will
Explain the circular nature of Section 4 and what it implies about Crooks The Section begins w/Crooks alone and ends with Crooks alone; It shows his loneliness
At the start of Section 5, what has Lennie done and why does his action worry him? He has killed his pup; He is worried that George will not let him tend the rabbits on their future ranch
What does Steinbeck intend to show us when Lennie kills the puppy? His capabilities of violence
Why does Steinbeck describe Curley’s wife as heavily made-up and wearing a red dress & heels? To show the corrupting power of women
Explain the symbolism in Curley’s Wife’s statement “Don’t you worry.. He was just a mutt. You can get another one easy. The whole country is fulla mutts.” Saying that people during the Great depression didn’t have any roots and wondered around like a mutt.
Why does Curley’s wife become angry with Lennie? Because Lennie won’t talk to her and she feels that it is another way Curley can control her life.
Why didn’t Curley’s wife’s dream come true? Because she married Curley instead
Why does Curley’s wife fail to see the violence in Lennie’s behavior? Because she sees Lennie as an innocent man with a child-like attitude
Why does Lennie panic, and what happens as a result of his panic? Because Curley’s wife yells; He breaks her neck
Compare the events at the beginning of Section 5 with the events at the end of the chapter. Both at the beginning and at the end, Lennie is unable to feel remorse for his violent actions
Explain the significance of the last line of the novel. They don’t understand the brotherhood between the men & their rare delicate bond that is grieved. They don’t understand because the men of the farm don’t have friendships.
Name the 4 themes of the novel 1. The predatory nature of human existence2. Fraternity & male friendship3. The impossibility of the American dream4. Survival of the fittest
Explain naturalism The belief that the outside forces attack the character; character is forced to struggle with the outside forces to survive; George & Lennie are forced to survive because they move from place to place
Setting of the novel Great Depression; 1930’s; California
The predatory nature of human existence – Curley’s wife comes into the room & makes fun of the men calling them an old sheep dog, and a dumb dumb. – Crooks preys on Lennie telling him George has gone to a bad place & asks what if he leaves you & they throw you into an insane asylum. (Lennie represents the mentally handicapped people of the world)
Fraternity & Male friendship Nobody has a friend on the ranch except George & Lennie.
The impossibility of the American dream The newspaper story when their co-worker (Bill Tenner) gets his dream to be in a magazine.
Survival of the fittest when slim drowns the dogs; the killing of Lennie
Know the relevance of the opening paragraphs of chapter 6. It talks about the water snakes getting eaten by the birds. Exemplifies the power of the powerless. (survival of the fittest)

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