Of Mice and Men

					  OF MICE AND MEN
READING THE NOVEL AS AN ALLEGORY
                      KEY TERMS

• Allegory:
  • A narrative in which characters and action represent
    concepts different from the literal meaning of the story.
    • If Of Mice and Men is an allegory, each character should
      represent something different, in this case, a common person in
      society.
• Symbol:
  • Something that on the surface is its literal self but which also
    has another meaning or even several meanings.
    • Each character in Of Mice and Men symbolizes a group in
      society.
             #1: WHEELCHAIR

        Lennie:
• He symbolizes how
  those with handicaps
  are often victimized
  (mistreated or taken
  advantage of) by
  society
          #2: BOTTLE OF BOOZE

        George:
• He symbolizes the
  working man's need to
  escape from reality
  through vice. His
  reckless spending on
  alcohol and prostitutes
  prevents him from ever
  raising enough money
  to finance his dream of
  owning a farm.
            #3: BOXING GLOVES

         Curley:
• He is a bully, and
  symbolizes those in
  society who use their
  high status (ex. the
  boss’s son) to control
  and/or hurt others.
           #4: “Whites Only” Sign

         Crooks:
• He symbolizes those
  forced to be outsiders
  in society, because
  they belong to a racial
  minority that has no say
  in how they are
  treated.
#5: WALKING CANE

                   Candy:
         • He symbolizes the weak
           and elderly, especially
           those who are abused
           and discriminated
           against. He also
           symbolizes those who
           finish their lives alone, in
           poverty and misery.
#6: CASH REGISTER

                The Boss:
         • He doesn't have to do
           much to make money.
           He symbolizes the
           wealthy, upper class
           who generate passive
           income by exploiting
           labor from the poor.
#7: RED LIPSTICK

              Curley’s Wife:
         • Curley’s wife is
           superficial, and uses
           her sexuality to
           manipulate people.
         • She symbolizes the
           objectification of
           women and broken
           dreams (she wants to
           look glamorous and be
           in the movies).
#8: LUNCH BOX

                Carlson:
       • Carlson works. He
         symbolizes blue collar
         workers who think little.
         They show up, do their
         job, and give little
         thought to the future.
#9: COWBOY HAT

                  Slim:
        • “Prince of the ranch” –
          Slim represents the
          masculine ideal of
          western magazines. He
          seems perfectly
          adapted to the
          migrant lifestyle, and
          he’s the kind of man
          others want to be, but
          can’t ever become.

				
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posted:7/25/2011
language:English
pages:11