OMM: Themes and Context L/O: How does Steinbeck explore the context through themes and ideas? QUICK REVISION QUIZ you can use the information given to you to help you. 1. The American Dream was an idea created in which famous document? 2. What was The Great Depression? 3. What caused the dust bowl in 1931? 4. From which poet did Steinbeck borrow the title? 5. What is the meaning of the title?
OMM: Themes and Context L/O: How does Steinbeck explore the context through themes and ideas? QUICK REVISION QUIZ 1. The American Dream was an idea created in which famous document? The Declaration of Independence 2. What was The Great Depression? Aftermath of the stock market crash, mass unemployment and fall in the economy 3. What caused the dust bowl in 1931? Erosion and agriculture 4. From which poet did Steinbeck borrow the title? Robert Burns 5. What is the meaning of the title? No matter how hard we try, plans
often go wrong. L/O: How does Steinbeck explore the context through themes and ideas? In order to understand the context and how it influenced Steinbeck, we need to consider how the themes and ideas relate to the world around him and his characters. In order to do this, you will need to really thinking imaginatively about the text and interpret meaning from every page you read.
L/O: How does Steinbeck explore the context through themes and ideas? Dreams and ambition S&H context
Lennie and George dream of freedom and a better life on the farm The American Dream Curleys wife dreams of being an actress
View of women in the 1930s- no voice Femininity, sexuality and exploitation The birth of Hollywood Migrant workers The Great Depression Themes Dreams and Ambition Loneliness
Violence and aggression Social status and power Friendship Context Notes What is the Vision of America in this
novella? Vision of America This novella seems to argue that there is no one single America. Rather, there are many groups (blacks, workers, women, others) each with their own struggle. Linked to this idea is its setting in rural America, mid way through the great depression and encompassing the Dust bowl. Anyone can achieve
wealth and success if they work hard. The America n Dream Racism Vulnerabilit y
This image represents... Loneliness Friendship Uselessnes s of the old! Themes
Loneliness Dreams The working man Disadvantaged characters (misfits) Prejudice Friendship
Dreams Repetition of farm dream makes it seem more real as novel progresses (until final events) CHAPTER 1 Used as sign of hope. CHAPTER 6 Used differently used to comfort Lennie before George kills him. The last mention of the dream is very poignant as both the reader and George know that the dream will never be achieved. CIRCULAR PLOT used to emphasise that life will never change for these characters. The dream is used by Steinbeck to show a different side to Candy and Crooks. Dream is shattered in by Curleys wife in two ways:
Mocking Crooks bindlebums Getting killed by Lennie. Curleys wife had her own dreams of being in films. Loneliness Isolation and loneliness SETTINGS play big part in portraying isolation ranch Soledad = Spanish for solitude Characters are discriminated against for different reasons. Although most of them suffer discrimination, the characters dont have much in common and
remain quite isolated throughout the book (dream brings them together): Crooks Because he is black Curleys wife Because she is a woman and seen as trouble and Curleys possession. Candy Because of his disability. Candys dog old and smells. Crooks is an important character when exploring isolation he uses his own room as a retreat and rarely allows other people to enter his room very protective over his small space. This shows that even though he doesnt own much, he is a very proud character; This is also why he retreats back into his shell when challenged and mocked by Curleys wife. George ends up alone at the end links to circular plot.
Settings Contrasts between Chapter 1 and 6 circular plot - isolation Weed foreshadowing Barn location for a lot of negative events Puppy dies Curleys wife dies Curleys hand crushed
Ranch = isolated Soledad = solitude Crooks room books shows intelligence / proud Detailed descriptions of settings to reflect events Relationships GEORGE AND LENNIE:
Strength (physical Lennie alongside Mental George) Friends (George takes responsibility for Lennie) Father and Son (George protective / Lennie childlike) Pet and Master (Animal imagery) MASTER AND PET:
Lennie and Mice Lennie and Puppy Candy and Dog George and Lennie CROOKS AND LENNIE / CURLEYS WIFE AND LENNIE: Both characters open up to Lennie reveals more to the reader (Lennie is almost used as a journal / diary). CURLEY AND HIS WIFE:
Not a loving relationship Wife treated as a possession doesnt even have a name in the book. Even at the end, Curley wants revenge for Lennie crushing his hand. This will shock the reader as he should want justice for his dead wife. Wifes unhappiness shown throughout the novel flirting with other men, lost dreams etc Foreshadowing (Hints at what might happen later in the plot): Title of novel The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry
Woman in weed Georges constant warnings to Lennie to keep away from Curleys wife Candys dog Repetition of run to the brush Dead animals Structure uplifting events are quickly followed by something bad (this occurs throughout the novel) Lennies strength dead animals wont let go of Curleys hand Comparing Section one and six ANIMAL IMAGERY:
Lennie like a bear drags his paws Lennie dabbled his big paw in the water Section 1 Section 6 Energetic wild animal Lennie is like a hunted animal came as silently as a creeping bear moves Strong Characteristics are more cautious Clumsy Readers sympathy grows towards him further Death of animals Candys dog / Mice / Puppies: Hints (foreshadowing) that Georges pet (Lennie) must die too? DIGNITY AND RESPONSIBILITY Candy wishes he had shot his dog himself Links to George taking responsibility for Lennie.
REPETITION OF FARM STORY: Section 1 represents hope and dreams when Lennie and George are discussing the farm. Whereas: In Chapter 6, George uses the farm to comfort Lennie. Very poignant and emotive George and the reader know that the dream will never come true. The reader empathises with Georges situation and decision. The sadness surrounding the death of Lennie and the dream is furthered because the reader is aware that the dream was about to come a reality with the help from Candy. CIRCULAR PLOT:
Novel starts and ends in the same setting brush This emphasises that no matter what dreams they have, the ranch workers are destined to just move round from ranch to ranch until they eventually die Reader feels increasing sympathy for these helpless and isolated characters. SETTING: HERON AND WILDLIFE Same setting in chapter 1 and 6 chapter 6 is written with a more negative perspective Metaphor for Lennies life - close to end? CHAPTER 1: peaceful twinkling over yellow sands CHAPTER 6: Sense of peace from chapter 1 turns to isolation:
the golden foothill slopes Sun had left the valley Still late in the afternoon Lennie is in the middle of the setting in a vulnerable childlike position: he embraced his knees and laid his chin down on his knees builds sympathy for character HERON Chapter 1 Heron spares snakes life Reflected - George saves Lennies life by helping him escape Weed. Chapter 6 - Heron stands motionless in the water then kills the snake Shows smarter animal killing helpless animal FORESHADOWING George and Lennie Circle of life / nature
HOMELEARNING PART B: How does Steinbeck use the relationship between George and Lennie to explore the social and historical context of the novella? What their relationship represents in the novella Life in the 1930s The theme of dreams and ambition
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