Section 5 - Directions: Answer these questions in complete sentences.
- What has Lennie done as the section opens?
- What is Lennie’s fear?
- What personal information does Curley’s wife reveal to Lennie in the barn?
- To console Lennie over the death of his puppy, Curley’s wife tells him that he can get another one, that “the whole country is fulla mutts.” What is the significance of this line?
- Why does Curley’s wife get angry when Lennie tells her that George said he shouldn’t talk to her?
- What was Curley’s wife’s dream? She indicates that life with Curley is not what she wanted for herself.
- Why does Curley’s wife offer to let Lennie stroke her hair?
- Why does Curley’s wife become afraid of Lennie as he’s stroking her hair?
- Why does Lennie kill Curley’s wife?
- Why does Lennie leave Curley’s wife body in the barn, but take the puppy with him when he leaves to go to the river?
Thematic Analysis: Dreams
A theme is a general concept or idea, such as love, justice, or sorrow. One way to help you think of themes is to complete the following sentence: “This is a book about _____________________.” One of the major themes in Of Mice and Men is the elusiveness of dreams; several characters’ hopes have been dashed by the end of Section 5.
Directions: Identify the dream of each of the following characters, and explain how that dream is destroyed. Explain what you can learn from this at the bottom of the page.
George and Lennie
How it dies:
How it dies:
How it dies:
How it dies:
What message is the author giving the readers? Will anyone’s dream come to fruition? How do you feel after examining this rather depressing theme?
Section 6 - Directions: Answer these questions in complete sentences.
- The novel ends where it began, in the clearing by the river. What is the atmosphere established by the description at the beginning of the final section?
- What is the purpose of Aunt Clara’s appearance in Lennie’s mind’s eye?
- What does Lennie fear his punishment will be?
- Why does the giant rabbit appear to Lennie?
- Why does George’s struggle with the description of the farm when Lennie asks him to recite it to him there, on the river bank?
- What is Slim’s role at the end of the story?
- What is the significance of Carlson asking George and Lennie had his gun and supplying the story that George wrestled the gun away from Lennie and shot him.
- When George – obviously upset – and Slim go for a drink, Carlson remarks, “Now what the hell ya suppose is eatin’ them two guys?” Why doesn’t he understand?
Symbols, objects that represent other things, are significant literary elements; they become a type of shorthand for particular ideas or concepts in a piece of literature.
Directions: The following are recurring symbols in Of Mice and Men. Explain how the symbols are alike and what they represent.
- the rabbits as symbols of George and Lennie’s dreams
- the fate of Candy’s dog as a symbol of Lennie’s ultimate fate and human tragedy
- the color red as a symbol of danger or trouble
- the bunk house as a symbol of danger for Lennie
- Curley’s wife as a symbol of women of the early twentieth century
There are six major scenes in Of Mice and Men, and each scene begins with an extended description of the setting, which establishes both a sense of place and of atmosphere.
Directions: Match the settings with the appropriate scene descriptions. Use some settings more than once.
the bunkhouse the harness room the barn the clearing by the river
___________________ 1. ***** *****s up some beans for himself and Lennie.
___________________ 2. Curley’s wife threatens to get Crooks hanged.
___________________ 3. George shoots Lennie in the back of the head.
___________________ 4. Curley attacks Lennie.
___________________ 5. There are apple crates on the walls for shelves that are littered with personal items
and Western magazines.
___________________ 6. Lennie accidentally kills Curley’s wife.
___________________ 7. Crooks taunts Lennie about George’s well-being.
___________________ 8. The peaceful spot Lennie must go to if he gets in any sort of trouble.
___________________ 9. Whit shows Slim the published letter from Bill Tenner.
___________________ 10. Lennie attempts to cover the dead puppy with hay.
Pre-Reading Question Review
Directions: Take out the pre-reading questions that you filled out before you read Of Mice and Men. Often you study and learn, your beliefs change. They become stronger, weaker, or entirely different. It is a sign of wisdom and maturity to analyze new ideas carefully and decide which ones to add to your worldview. Therefore, you are returning to the questions you discussed before you read Of Mice and Men to determine what opinions, if any, have been affected by the book. Complete the chart below.
Answers Before Reading
Answers After Reading
Changes? Write yes or no
- How does society treat people with mental handicaps?
- How important is friendship in our lives?
- Explain whether or not men continue to treat women as objects.
- Define the American Dream.
- Explain whether or not writers have a responsibility to address social concerns.