Of Mice and Men: Chapter 1 Reading and Study Guide Chapter One Lennie and George are hiding after getting off a bus that took them from Weed to Soledad. They were forced to leave Weed because Lennie was accused of rape. This was a very common occurrence - not being accused of rape, but being driven out of when they were. They went from ranch to ranch. They sit eating and talking about the past and talking about the future - the future where they own a ranch of their own with rabbits and chickens, and where they live off "the fatta the lan'." They discuss what there plans are for the next day; they are to go to the ranch and George is to do all the talking. I. VOCABULARY: Be able to define the following words and understand them when they appear in the novel. Bindle [slang] a bundle, as of bedding, carried by a hobo______________________________________ Jack [slang] money___________________________________________________________________ Morosely ____________________________________________________________________________ Pantomime___________________________________________________________________________ Droned______________________________________________________________________________ Contemplated_________________________________________________________________________ II. Allusions and historical references: Soledad is a coastal California city about 130 miles south of San Francisco. Salinas River a river that flows through Soledad and into Monterey Bay Weed a northern California mining town Watchin’ that blackboard referred to waiting at employment agencies who would post available jobs on a blackboard in front of their offices. Prospective employees would watch the blackboard for any new jobs. Work cards a job assignment from an employment agency would be written on a work card to be presented by the worker to the employer. The Great Depression ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ III. LITERARY TERMS: Be able to define each term and apply each term to the novel. Imply________________________________________________________________________________________ Infer_________________________________________________________________________________________ Exposition____________________________________________________________________________________ Setting______________________________________________________________________________________ What is the setting of this novel? _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Point of view__________________________________________________________________________________ From what point of view is the story told? ___________________________________________________________ IV. QUESTIONS: answer the following questions. Use complete sentences. 1. Where did the bus drop the two men off? 2. How is George described? 3. How is Lennie described? 4. What does Lennie do with the water that makes him proud of himself? 5. What does Lennie not have in his pocket? 6. Why does Lennie not have it in his pocket? 7. What does Lennie take out of his pocket that gets him yelled at by George? 8. What did Lennie want to do with this item? 9. Where are George and Lennie going? 10. Where are George and Lennie coming from? 11. When they get to where they are going, what does George tell Lennie to do? 12. Why did George and Lennie leave the last place they were at? 13. When Lennie goes out to get wood for a fire, what does he bring back that George takes away? 14. Who used to give Lennie mice? 15. Why did she stop giving Lennie mice? 16. What does Lennie want with his dinner that they don’t have? 17. What does George imply happened in Weed with the girl? 18. What dream does George and Lennie share? 19. Where does George tell Lennie to go if he gets in trouble? 20. Describe the characters of George and Lennie. The Miracle of Friendship by Author Unknown There is a Miracle called Friendship that dwells within the heart and you don't know how it happens or when it even starts. But the happiness it brings you always gives a special lift and you realize that Friendship is God's most precious gift. Explain the relationship that exists between George and Lennie based on Chapter 1 of the book. Define friendship What qualities do you look for in a friend? Who is your best friend? What is he/she like? Why are you best friends with this person? What would you be willing to do for a friend? Of Mice and Men explores the concept of “friendship” and, more generally, the contrast between unity and isolation. This novel will hopefully force you to consider what it means to be a good friend and what things in society might push us away from each other, and keep us from uniting in friendship. Understanding our own ideas about what friendship is will allow us to understand better how Steinbeck is presenting that idea. Of Mice and Men: Chapter 2 Reading and Study Guide I. VOCABULARY: Be able to define the following words and understand them when they appear in the novel. Swamper: handyman; someone who performs odd jobs—such as cleaning. Refers to the character Candy Tick: mattress covering Stable buck a stable is a building where horses are kept. A buck, in this case, is a derogatory word for a black man. A stable buck, then, would be a black man who works in a stable. Skinner a mule driver Cesspool________________________________________________________________ Ominously______________________________________________________________ Pugnacious______________________________________________________________ Derogatory______________________________________________________________ Mollified________________________________________________________________ II. LITERARY TERMS: Be able to define each term and apply each term to the novel. Dialect________________________________________________________________________ Novella________________________________________________________________________ Irony__________________________________________________________________________ What is an example of something ironic from this chapter? _______________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Direct characterization_________________________________________________________________ Indirect characterization___________________________________________________________ III. QUESTIONS: answer the following questions. Use complete sentences. 1. According to the old man, why was the boss mad at George and Lennie? 2. What does George find in the box by his bed and what does he assume? 3. Describe the “stable buck.” What physical attributes does he have? What does the boss use him for? 4. Describe the fight between the “stable buck” and Smitty. 5. What is Lennie’s last name? How is this ironic? 6. What does the boss suspect George of doing to Lennie? What makes him think this? 7. What reason does George give for taking care of Lennie? 8. What is George’s last name? 9. Who is Curley? 10. What does the swamper tell George about Curley’s left hand? 11. Describe Curley’s wife. 12. Why does she come into the bunkhouse? 13. Describe Slim. What is his job on the ranch? What are some of his character traits? 14. What did Slim do to four of his pups? Why? 15. What does Lennie want George to ask Slim? IV. SHORT ESSAY: write a paragraph answer to the following questions. Use quotes from the book to support your answer. 16. Describe the atmosphere of the ranch and bunkhouse. Be sure to include characteristics of different characters that were formally or informally introduced to us in this chapter. Of Mice and Men: Chapter 3 Reading and Study Guide Summary Chapter Three Slim's dog just had puppies and he agrees to give one to Lennie one George is very grateful and tells him how much it means to Lennie. George confides in Slim about the incident in Weed, illustrating that he trusts Slim. He assures Slim that Lennie simply scared the girl and meant her no harm. Slim states he can tell that Lennie is a good worker and a good person. At that point Lennie enters the Bunkhouse hiding his new puppy and George orders him to take it back to it’s mother before he ends up killing it. Carlson gives Candy grief over his raggedy old dog and tries to convince candy to shoot him. Carlson tells him he isn’t being kind making the old dog suffer. Carlson finally convinces Candy to let him shoot and bury the dog. Candy is grief stricken and later regrets not doing the deed himself. Slim is called upon to tend to one of the mules and minutes later Curley comes looking for his wife. She isn’t around and he notices that slim isn’t around either. He takes off to the barn with Carlson and Whit on his heels looking for a fight. George and Lennie forgot that Candy was still there and started discussing their plans for the future. Candy wants to join them and offers to put in $350 towards buying the farm, at this their dreams seemed possible. Curley and Slim return to the bunkhouse arguing over Curley’s wife. Curley spots Lennie smiling and thinks he’s mocking him. Lennie is terrified and tries to block the blows but is unsuccessful. George orders Lennie to fight back but Lennie too scared to do so simply grabs Curley’s fist and crushes every bone in his hand. George had to slap Lennie numerous times in order to get him to let go of Curley's broken hand. Lennie is terrified and George tries to convince Lennie that it wasn’t his fault. I. Vocabulary: Be able to define the following words and understand them when they appear in the novel. Candy wagon: a crew bus or truck used for transporting people____________________ Bemused: preoccupied; deep in thought_______________________________________ Derision________________________________________________________________ Receptive: ______________________________________________________________ Rheumatism _____________________________________________________________ Reprehensible ___________________________________________________________ II. Literary Terms: Be able to define each term and apply each term to the novel. Imagery::______________________________________________________________________ How does imagery add to the depth of the story? ________________________________________________________________________ Conflict: ________________________________________________________________ What are the conflicts operating in the text so far? ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Symbolism: When one things stands for or represents something else______________________ Candy's old dog: is a symbol of what happens to migrant workers when they live alone and can no longer do the work of the farm or ranch. ___________________________________________ Rabbits: Symbolic of the comfort he wants to find in a home place. It can also be said that Lennie provides this same kind of comforting symbol to George__________________________________ Curley and Curley's wife: both represent evil-both oppress and abuse the migrants in different ways. _________________________________________________________________________ III. QUESTIONS: answer the following questions. Use complete sentences. 1. George explains that he at one time was mean to Lennie but he stopped. What was his explanation? 2. Slim does not express surprise that Lennie is a truly kind person. What reason does he give? 3. Why does George confide in Slim about what happened in Weed? 4. Why does George scold Lennie for bringing the pup into the bunkhouse? 6. What does Slim compare Lennie to? To what is Slim’s opinion compared? 7. How does what happened to Candy’s dog function on a symbolic level? 9. Where do the men go on Saturday nights? 10. What offer does Candy put to George and Lennie? How are things changed? 11. Why does Candy believe he should have put down his own dog? 12. What is Curley upset about? 13. Who does Curly get in a fight with and why does Curly choose that person? 14. What kind of deal does Slim make with Curly? In Of Mice and Men, Lennie portrays an exception to the rule of institutionalization for mentally disabled people. His freedom until the end of the story shows an attempt by himself and George to integrate with the world of the early 1900s. But society's inability to accept him, as illustrated by his friend's fear that Lennie will be murdered for his accidental crime, demonstrates a refusal of this world to adapt itself to people of varying natures. " Had this novel been written in the 2006, would the characters in the book react to Lennie in the same way? Has our scientific knowledge of mental retardation affected society's acceptance of people with this condition? Essential Question: Has our society’s knowledge of mental deficiencies affected society's acceptance of people with these conditions? What are the causes of mental disorders? What is the functioning level and behavioral expectations of someone who is mentally challenged? How do medical professionals treat the condition? What are society's current beliefs and attitudes towards people with mental retardation? How does knowledge change our behavior? Of Mice and Men Chapters four &five Reading and study Guide Summary: Chapter Four & Five: Candy, Crooks and Lennie are left behind while the rest of the men go to town. Lennie visits Crooks. At first, Crooks is but softens, he is glad for company. He is Black and people usually treat him poorly. Crooks teases Lennie until Lennie becomes agitated and preoccupied with his worries about George. Candy later joins Lennie although George swore them to secrecy; both Lennie and Candy have revealed their plans about living off the fat of the land. Crooks scorn their dreams until Candy explains the plan, Crooks offers to lend his help by working on their land. At that moment, Curley's wife, interrupts them, saying she is looking for Curley. She really is just looking for some company but Crooks suggests that she leave. Curley's wife refuses, saying that she is lonely. She wants to know what happened to Curley's hand, she sees through their lies, becomes angry, and insults them all. She notices the bruises on Lennie’s face and quickly deduces that it was he who fought her husband. Curley's wife continues on, insulting and humiliating Crooks. When Candy says he hears the men returning, she quickly departs. Candy and Lennie leave as well, and a downhearted Crooks withdraws his offer to lend his support when they buy their home. The next afternoon, Lennie is in the barn. All of the other men are outside and Lennie’s only company is his dead puppy. He fears that George will not let him tend and feed the rabbits if George knows that he killed the puppy, Suddenly Curley's wife appears. She tries to get Lennie to talk to her, but Lennie has been forbidden to do so by George. Lennie forgets about not talking to her when she mentions the puppy and he explains everything to her. She listens sympathetically, and she tells Lennie about her aspirations of being an actress. She gets angry when Lennie goes on and on about the rabbits and wants to know why he is so attracted to them. Lennie says that he likes to touch and pet soft things. Curley's wife allows Lennie to stroke her hair, but she panics when he won't let go. She screams and Lennie panic, shaking her so violently that he breaks her neck. Lennie knows that he has done another bad thing and remembers that George told him to go and hide in the brush down by the river, so he quickly runs there. Candy discovers the body and runs to fetch George feels he has to tell the others but Candy protests, knowing Curley would deliver no mercy. He wants to let Lennie escape. He asks George if it is still possible to buy the house, but his dreams are shattered when George says it isn't. I. Vocabulary: Be able to define the following words and understand them when they appear in the novel. Apprehension _______________________________________________________________ Scornful ___________________________________________________________________ Indignation _________________________________________________________________ Sullenly____________________________________________________________________ Snivel___________________________________________________________________________ Bewildered________________________________________________________________________ II. Literary Terms: Be able to define each term and apply each term to the novel. Climax: Define Climax: ____________________________________________________________________ What is the climax of the novel? _______________________________________________________________ Define Motif: ______________________________________________________________________________ In this novel, there is an animal motif: Provide three examples where characters are described in terms of animals. __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ Study questions for Chapter 4&5 Directions: Answer the following questions in complete sentences. 1. What literary function does Crooks serve in the novel? 2. Why isn’t Crooks wanted in the bunkhouse? 3. How does Crooks tease Lennie? Why does he stop? 4. What does Crooks say will happen if a guy gets too lonely? 5. On page 75, we are told that it is difficult for Crooks to conceal his pleasure with anger. Why is Crooks happy? 6. Why is Candy angry when Curley’s wife comes in the barn? 7. How does she insult the men? 8. After telling Curley’s wife about the house, the chickens, the trees, and the prettier place, what else does Candy reveal to her? 9. Why is Curley’s wife offended? How does Curley’s wife threaten Crooks? 10. What has happened to Lennie’s puppy? Why is Lennie scared? How is this symbolic? 11. How does Curley’s wife feel about him? Why do you think she married him? 12. When Lennie say, “I done a bad thing,” what is Lennie talking about? 13. Who is the first person to find Curley’s wife? 14. What does George think will happen to Lennie at first? What punishment does Candy believe will befall Lennie? 15. What is Candy’s “greatest fear”? 16. What does George say he’ll do with his $50? 17. Why is Candy so angry with Curley’s wife? 18. Why do you think Curley’s wife never receives a name? 19. What does Carlson find missing? 20. Why does Curley insist on having George travel with the men to search for Lennie? Assignment:. Chapter Five contains the climax of the novel. This one instant dramatically changes the course of three characters lives. Write a short narrative in which one dramatic moment changes the course of history for the characters involved. Of Mice and Men Chapter Six Summary: While Lennie waits for George, he imagines his Aunt Clara and a giant rabbit scolding him for his bad deeds, and telling him that George will beat him and abandon him. Lennie is delighted when George arrives, but puzzled over George's failure to give him hell. George makes a half-hearted attempt and Lennie is happier. Lennie persuades George to tell him his favorite story again, and George agrees. He tells Lennie to look over the river and imagine the house as if it were right there. As he tells the story, he removes Carlson's gun from his pocket. As he tells Lennie the story, he can hear the shouts of men looking for Lennie. Finally, after telling Lennie the whole story, George realizes that he has to kill Lennie, and does so quickly, shooting him with Carlson's luger. Moments later, the other men arrive, and are amazed that George managed to get the gun away from Lennie and then shoot him with it. Only Slim realizes what really happened, and offers to console George. The two friends walk off together, leaving Carlson and Curley behind. I. Vocabulary: Be able to define the following words and understand them when they appear in the novel. Sulkily: in a gloomy manner______________________________________________________________ Sullenly: sadly; in a depressing and gloomy way_______________________________________________ Monotonous:___________________________________________________________________________ Stilted: _______________________________________________________________________________ Scuttle:________________________________________________________________________________ Dutifully:______________________________________________________________________________ Belligerently:____________________________________________________________________ Revered:_______________________________________________________________________________ II. Literary terms: Be able to define each term and apply each term to the novel. Define theme: ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ What are the themes that apply to Of Mice and Men? ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ Define Dialect:__________________________________________________________________________ How does dialect contribute to the authenticity of a character? ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ How would this story be different if Lennie it was told from Lennie’s point of view? ______________________________________________________________________________________ III. Answer the following questions in complete sentences. 1. What type of atmosphere is described before Lennie arrives down by the river? How does it change upon his arrival? 2. Who does Lennie have a conversation with about George? What do they say to him? 3. When George arrives, what does he do that bewilders Lennie? 4. What details show that Lennie does not suspect that George is about to shoot him? 5. What details show that even in this dreadful situation, George is not a cruel man? 6. Why do you think Lennie has visions? What emotions do they make him feel? 7. What is the irony of George having to tell Lennie how free he would be without him? 8. What does Slim realize that none of the other men do? 9. How does the situation with Candy’s old dog relate to what George has done? 10. Do you think George is a hero? Why or why not? 11. What is the most compelling theme in the novel? Assignment: Write a paragraph about each of the following topics related to the novel Describe in some detail the farm that George and Lennie dream of owning one day. When Candy and Crooks join the dream, what part do they foresee themselves playing? Curley's wife appears three times in the novel. Briefly describe what takes place on each occasion. On which occasion does she reveal the most about herself, and what is it? 'I like to pet nice things with my fingers, soft things.' Trace in detail the 'sof' things' that Lennie pets in the novel, showing that the petting grows more serious as the novel goes on. Describe in some detail the incident where Lennie crushes Curley's hand. What does this incident reveal about each of these two characters? While Curley is physically aggressive towards Lennie, his wife is sexually provocative. Show how these two characters create trouble for Lennie, and combine to cause his death. Many people in the novel suffer from disappointment. Choose any three of the following characters and discuss what reasons they have to be disappointed about their life: Crooks - Curley - George - Candy Which character do you feel most sorry for in this story? Explain your choice by referring closely to the events of the novel.
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