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.