13 September 2012

Today we had a large group discussion about Chapters 5 & 6 in OMM.

We focused our discussion on

  • The dissolution of dreams for each of the major characters (Curley’s Wife, Candy, Lennie, George)
  • The ominous nature of the paradise garden when Lennie returns there (the heron eating the snake)
  • The  judgement inherent in Aunt Clara and the giant rabbit–who speak with Lennie’s physical voice, but George’s spirit
  • The “two endings” – the first, poetic ending–when Slim leads George out of paradise, up to the highway, and the second, thematic ending, “What the hell you s’pose is eatin’ them guys?” We talked about Steinbeck showing us even in the end that human beings suck.

Shout out to Nina D, who put that thematic ending into gorgeous language when she pointed out that Steinbeck’s ending tells us that “human beings are unsympathetic and oblivious” to each other’s suffering.

And another shout out to Clara B, who pointed out that because Slim leading George out of the garden isn’t the last word of the novel, the “God [figure] doesn’t get the final word” in Steinbeck’s universe.

For tomorrow, two things:

1. Common sense definitions for words 16-23 due.

2. Write a journal entry–without consulting outside sources or each other–in which you theorize about the meaning of the title Of Mice and Men.

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4 thoughts on “13 September 2012

  1. I believe that George killed Lennie out of mercy, and that it was no act of judgement or justice. If they had ever fullfilled their dream, then Lennie would have torn it apart for him self by accidentally killing all the bunnies.
    -Clara Mae

  2. There was a part in the book at the ending where George finds lennie and lennie tells George that he’s giving him hell and George’s response was that the only thing lennie could remember was the mean things George told him. I think deeply in the back of Lennies head he felt that he always disappointed George . And George Felt guilt when he killed him but then he had no other choice.

    -Venia X.

  3. At the end of the book, the last line spoken was very powerful to me. It reinforced Steinbeck’s message of how humans are mean and pretty much suck. Right after Lennie died, no one cared. No one even thought twice about it. They weren’t at all sympathetic, it’s almost as if they thought it was just another death rather than an an actual person dying.

  4. I believe dreams were one of the most important things in this book. They gave many of the characters hope and motivation. Dreams came up several times throughout the book,especially at the end. Right before George kills Lennie, George tells Lennie their dreams and Lennie is happy, with good thoughts as he is going out.

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