10H – 11-12 Sept 2014 – Discussing “four marked people in a room”

Today we’ll have primarily a small-group discussion focused on your journal entry from last night/yesterday. We’ll have a shorter larger group discussion to address the power dynamics and oppressed groups that interact in Chapter 4.

Tomorrow we’ll have a vocabulary routine as normal. We’ll also make a T-chart about the book, talking about what makes it a “banned” book (yep, it is) and what makes it a book with powerful literary merit, and which arguments we feel are stronger (my guess is we’ll have lots of DIFFERING opinions on that score!).

I’m asking you to read Chapters 5 & 6 (the rest of the book) for TUESDAY.

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3 thoughts on “10H – 11-12 Sept 2014 – Discussing “four marked people in a room”

  1. so after the discussion I thought of something. Someone had said that Curly’s wife isn’t really that powerful, she just relies on Curly. She’s really manipulative,though, and uses sexual attraction to her advantage. That way, she has control (kinda) over Curly, who has control over the ranch workers. So yes, she’s nothing without Curly, but Curly has his hand in a glove full of vaseline for her. Also when all four characters where put together they seemed to attack each other, except Lennie. He didn’t defend anybody (except George). When Candy and Crooks were arguing with Curly’s wife, Lennie stayed out of it. He also stays out of racism. I think, because he’s such a childlike character, he doesn’t understand racism and why Crooks won’t let him into his room at first, or why George disapproves of him being in there.

  2. Although Steinbeck portrays different characters as powerful, or more powerful than another character in some way, each of the “marked characters,” although some overpowering others, are all oppressed in some way by someone else. For example, Curly’s wife, although seeming ever powerful because of her connection to Curly, faces oppression because she is a woman. The only instance of communion (or at least a description of the consumption of food or drink), is at the start of the book, in the metaphorical Garden of Eden, when Lennie and George drink out of the lake. The fact that only the only characters that are are described in a communion are Lennie and George shows the bond they share, which is broken later because of the nature of he ranch. The oppression of marked characters, and the oppression the marked characters then inflict upon others, shows a power struggle that makes it near impossible to develop a companionship on the ranch.

    • Hmm. Sofie, I wonder if other things could become “communion,” like Foster talks about. In the bunkhouse, it seems like playing cards is a kind of communion, for example. And there are two significant issues there. First, Crooks isn’t allowed to play cards with the other ranch hands. Second, George is always playing “solitaire.”

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