22 September 2011

Today we discussed OMM.  Tomorrow we’ll finish up and hopefully look at Robert Burns’ poem “To a Mouse,” from which the title Of Mice and Men comes.

Hats off to some of you today–really stellar contributions from:

  • Ellie B, who commented that Lennie’s dream of living off the fat of the land and rabbits is essentially his “heaven,” and that by dying as he watches that vision dance in his head, George is helping him to reach his heaven in the only possible way.
  • Emma G, who commented on the similarity between the opening chapter and the beginning of Chapter 6, but the difference in the way everything was dead and there were creepy things in the water.  Whenever an author repeats something, but there is a change like that, the change means something.
  • Henry W, who commented that Aunt Clara and the Rabbit are really symbols of Judgement for Lennie.
  • Maisie H, who commented on the horses pulling on their harnesses in their stalls.  This is repeated so many times in the chapters we read that it must mean something.  Hooray for classmates who suggested (a) People trying to escape the confines of the Depression, preventing them from reaching their dreams (b) The ranchers trying to escape ranching life, and being unable to do so–specifically George, Lennie and Candy trying to get to their dream, and having it ultimately be a futile thing
  • Ellen C, who commented on several things, (a) the way the missed opportunities for Curley’s wife reflect the missed opportunities for the American Dream, (b) the way that Curley’s wife died physically with a hand over her mouth, just as she had been dying emotionally by being silenced and ignored
Also, I offered a list of common abbreviations you’ll see as I comment on your papers.  They included:
  • WC — word choice — as in this isn’t the word you actually mean/need
  • awk– awkward — for sentences or phrases that sound awkward and need revision
  • Inc quote — include quote — when you’re not including your quote using one of the methods I’ve suggested.
  • (circle) — for errors we’ve discussed or you’re likely to understand immediately
  • frag — fragment — sentence fragments
  • RO– run on — run on sentences
Also, I asked that you not use
  • “relatable”–Mostly because this is a word that makes you sound uneducated.  But also because it does not mean “easy to relate to.”
  • parentheses–Mostly this is a thought discipline.  If it’s important enough to say, include it in a sentence.  If it’s not important enough to say in a sentence then don’t include it at all.  This discipline will disappear as you become stronger writers, but at this point, it’s unwise to learn to rely on them.

One thought on “22 September 2011

  1. I agreed very much with Henry W when he said in discussion that the heron and the water snake at the beginning of chapter 6 were very important. I interpreted that scene as more foreshadow for the end of the story, just like earlier in the book when Candy’s dog died and Candy said he wish he had done it.

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