9/17 – Discuss OMM Ch 4

We talked about Chapter 4 today. Some GREAT stuff. Bravo.

I’m still curious about the horses snortling and rattling their chains repeatedly in the chapter. What do you think that was about? Emma H. asked the question and I can’t stop wondering!

In the meantime, tomorrow is a reading day for Chapters 5 & 6, which is due TUESDAY.

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7 thoughts on “9/17 – Discuss OMM Ch 4

  1. This is Cecilia (5th per), and I think the discussion was really deep today. I would like to comment on the namelessness of Curly’s Wife. I agree that her lack of a name (other than the informal term “Curly’s Wife) represents that she’s really nothing on the ranch, but I also think that it is something she has in common with both Crooks and Lennie (not so much Candy), two other characters in the “Four Outcasts in a Room” chapter. Curly’s Wife represents women, Crooks is the main disabled character, and Lennie is mentally disabled. They are also all referred to by nonspecific names, such as “The New Kid” (or “Curly’s Wife”, even this is a nonspecific name), “Stable Buck” (Crooks) and “The Big/Tall Fella/Guy” (Lennie), which also shows readers that they don’t hold a very high status on the ranch, if any at all, because they are not even called by their own names half the time.

  2. Although society pushes outcasts together, the dynamic at the ranch makes them hesitant of each other. So, like we are already aware, the strong characters attack these weak characters, but the weak also attack the weaker. This chapter illustrates how the weak attack the weak well. Curly’s wife may be weak, but in this situation she takes the opportunity for a power grab. This shows us that ranch dynamics push them to resort to violence when they are angry or frightened. Lennie especially turns to violence when he is frightened, even if he doesn’t mean to. Each time a new character is added we see how each character is hesitant to engage with the others. Eventually it settles down and the 3 men are “friendly”, but when Curly’s wife comes, the whole dynamic changes.

    Also about the horses… I think that that symbolizes tension and foreshadows something dangerous. A whinny or snort reminds me of chaos and ruckus. Rattling changes are movement which can mean change, chaos and change together could mean danger.

  3. On the subject of the horses, I did notice something literal about their snortling and chain rattling: each of the three times it is mentioned is right before or when someone is leaving or entering Crook’s room. Going off of Rachel’s comment, the three times could be foreshadow for tension and danger, as every time someone enters the room they come in to gain power over the other people in the room. Due to the fact that the rattling and snortling are just the horse’s reaction to seeing or sensing that a human is near, I believe that this foreshadow is both literal and symbolic at the same time (If that is possible.)

  4. I think that the societal structure of the ranch is that of the food chain. While Crooks is very low on that food chain, he still has some power in his room. And the reason that he does not want anyone really in his room is because that is all the little power he has, and he holds it tightly to himself. That is why he even talked back to Curlys wife because it is his room and he has that sense of security (even if small) to talk back to Curly’s wife. I would also like to point out that in the discussion somebody said that Curlys wife is so observant of the ranch that she knows her place and others places, and she doesn’t really try to fight for it. I Disagree with this statement because throughout the book we see her trying to assert her power. That is why she came in to Crook’s room, that is the only place were she has true power.

  5. In this chapter I noticed that there seemed to be two sides in the conversation. Lennie and Candy versus Crooks and Curley’s wife. Team Rabbit Farmers are the optimists while Curley’s wife and Crooks are the pessimists, they keep telling Lennie and Candy that they can’t do it, that it won’t work. “I Seen to many you guys.” And that George can’t or wont do it. Whenever this happens Lennie and Candy get defensive saying things like “We are too. You ast George.” “You God damn right we’re gonna do it. George says we are.” Throughout the chapter George is mentioned over nine times. While all four characters are fighting for power, I think that the one who really has the power is George, even though he’s not there.

    The other thing I noticed was very subtle but could be important later on in the story. When the author is describing Crooks and he talks about his few possessions, one of the things he mentions is a single-barreled shotgun. These three words mean a lot more than they appear to be. It is first characterization of Crooks, it emphasizes the idea that Crooks want’s to be left alone. That he doesn’t want company. But I think the shotgun means more than just that. I think that it could be foreshadowing something bad. If it is ever used, somebody will die, and Crooks doesn’t necessarily have to be the one to use it.

  6. I didn’t get a chance to say this, but I thought it was really interesting how Curleys wife left when she heard the others coming back. She knew she could get power out of the outcasts and she refused to leave when it was just them, but when Candy said he heard them coming, she ran out almost like she was scared of them finding her there. She knew the little power she had from being a women wouldn’t be anything close to the power Slim has.

  7. I thought that overall this chapter was about power and status. Crooks is a black worker and has a very low status and very low power, curly’s wife is a women and doesnt even have a name throughout the story and while she might be higher up in status she has very little to no power. Even though Lenny is a white man, his disability makes it so his status and power kind of gets lower.

    Like i stated this chapter is mostly all about power. There is a problem where people in life and the characters in the story instead of fixing their loneliness they tend to grab at any power they can get even if that means ruining a relationship.
    An example of that would be how crooks let Lenny in his room and was talking to Lenny and could have easily formed a friendship with lenny but instead he found a way to gain power over him. I think crooks might have done that because he never has any power over anyone being one of the people with the lowest status, and when he found that lenny wasnt as smart and very easily manipulated he took control of that so he could have power over a white man.

    I think that the fact that Curly’s wife doesn’t have a name could be super important. She seems like she could be after the power, and since she is a woman and the only woman on the ranch, power is very hard to get.

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