9/15 – Discuss OMM Ch 3

Today we talked about OMM Ch 3.

It was awesome.

If you didn’t get a word in edgewise, or you need an alternate way to contribute to the discussion, feel free to comment on this post. Include a comment that

  • is not just a summary/re-hash of what we discussed
  • adds some of your own thinking to the conversation

I also introduced (briefly) the CHAISTIC structure of the novel and talked about chaisms/ring composition briefly. For more on this topic, I highly recommend Harry Potter as Ring Composition and Ring Cycle by John Granger (no, he’s not a relative of Hermione’s).


6 thoughts on “9/15 – Discuss OMM Ch 3

  1. Along with being full of foreshadow for later events in the novel, I feel that this chapter also further reinforces what we have learned about our characters in pervious chapters. Towards the beginning of the chapter, George tells Slim about when Lenny touched a girl’s dress and how he “Socked him over the head with fence picket to make him let go.”(Page 41) This is an example of character violence and is Gorge’s way of speaking to Lenny that he is doing a morally bad action and should stop. I think this reinforces what we’ve learned about George and Lenny’s relationship, that George is somewhat of a father figure towards Lenny, and he is teaching him morals through the ways fathers taught their kids at the time. Or rather, George is more of a master to Lenny.
    And the fact that George must hurt Lenny “To make him let go” could be foreshadow. We established today in the group discussion that by the end of the novel George is going to shoot Lenny, but we didn’t really come up with any reasons for coming to this conclusion. I think this quote may be foreshadow of this. Here George is hitting Lenny to literally make him let go of the girl’s dress, but when he shoot him he’s symbolically making him let go, letting go of the suffering of this world so that his innocence may be fully embraced in the afterlife.

  2. I’ve been debating about whether this interpretation is accurate or not, but why not share?
    There are dogs present in a lot of chapter 3. Lennie has a strong relationship with animals, and especially dogs in this chapter. When talking about shooting the dog, Carlson says, “if you want me to, I’ll put the old devil out of his misery right now and get it over with”. On page 43 Slim is talking about Lennie and says, “Sure he’s just like a kid. There ain’t no more harm in him than a kid neither, except he’s so strong. I bet he won’t come in here to sleep tonight. He’d sleep right alongside that box in the barn”. I think this could mean that dogs, in general (not just the dog that was shot), are representative of something that looks innocent, but can have a lot of power in emotions, such as Candy’s feelings toward the dog and George’s feelings towards Lennie. So, Lennie sleeping with the dogs is like him “making a deal with the devil”, he could possibly do something bad that seems innocent but isn’t, and it has a larger effect than what he realizes. This is similar to the story of Eden, where they eat from the tree of knowledge because the devil convinced them it was okay.
    Another note–

    While the dog is being shot and the men are playing cards, Whit talks to George, “Guy that wants to look over a ranch comes in Sat’day afternoon. He gets Sat’day night supper an’ three meals on Sunday, and he can quit Monday mornin’ after breakfast without turning his hand. But you come to work Friday noon. you got to put in a day an’ a half no matter how you figure”. This is not really related to anything going on at the time. This shows us that George and Lennie give up their power at the ranch without any hesitation, maybe they don’t even realize it. A “smart man” would milk the situation as much as possible, as if they have a slice of power in the situation at the ranch.

    Lennie’s actions in this chapter as well as 1 and 2, tell us that Lennie uses his amazing strength when he is frightened and nervous, and the situation doesn’t usually end well.

  3. When Curly lays into Lennie it shows just how weak and strong Lennie is. Lennie takes the beating issuing nothing in return. When he finally does though, he crushes Curly’s hand into a pulp. I think this is important because it shows how violent Curly is. In the back of the book it says “But even George cannot guard Lennie from the provocations of a flirtatious women” I think this hints that the women might be a big problem and could cause Curly to go complete ballistec and maybe even cause permanent damage to Lennie. This damage could make Lennie not be able to to the kind of work he does, for example not needing a partner in the barley. This could make him expendable and that could tie into the dog. Lennie would not have anything going for him if he could not work.

  4. In the beginning of chapter 3, Slim and George walked into their darkening bunk house. Slim then reaches up over the card table and turns on the electric. “Instantly the table was brilliant with light, and the cone of the shade threw its brightness straight downward, leaving the corners of the bunk house still in the dusk.” I thought that this was kind of interesting because it foreshadowed that something “dark” was going to happen.

    Another thing that I wanted to add, was the shooting of Candy’s dog. I think that in that particular scene, Candy comes to a realization that he will outlive his usefulness, which will get him thrown out or “killed” in this sense.

  5. In chapter 3 Curley picks on Lennie because of his unfortunate timing when he laughed. He picks on Lennie because he knows whether he wins or loses he will seem as the tough guy or the victim. This shows that Curley is a coward and his insecurity and need for power gets the best of him. It was mentioned in class that Curley’s hand that is covered by vaseline and in a glove represnts his power and pride. So when Lennie completely shatters his hand he shatters Curley’s pride, even though that was not Lennie’s intention. I believe this scene showed us alot about the type of characters Lennie and Curley are. Curley is obviously seen as the antagonist in this story causing most of the conflicts in the story. I also believe that Lennie hurting Curley so badly without meaning to foreshadows that Lennie might cause unintentional harm to someone further along in the story.

  6. I found it very violent when carlson was telling candy to just “go out and shoot his old dog”. They got very descriptive of HOW they would do it also.
    They did end up shooting the dog and how it happened now that u look back on it after reading the rest of the book, the shooting of the dog kind of foreshadows Lenny’s death.

    Curly and Lenny get in a fight where there is a ton of violence if you look at how much each of them got hurt. I found it strange that George told Lenny to fight back and once he finally did George told him to stop. I think this fight showed a lot about Lenny and his strength and confusion. Obviously Lenny is a bigger man and by how he cracked every bone in Curly’s hand, a very strong one too. But he was very confused at how he was going to stop, its almost like he didn’t know how.

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