Attached in this post are essays relating to Of Mice and Men and Blood Brothers. Many of them are relevant and you will find them helpful for revision in May and June.
Included below are some quotes as to why we feel sorry for most of the characters in the novel. CCEA look for quotes embedded within answers rather than simply stated on separate lines. Also, as OMAM is a closed book exam it is necessary to learn many on the quotes needed.
“God, you’re a lot of trouble… I could get along so easy and nice if I didn’t have you on my tail. I could live so easy and maybe have a girl”. (7) talking to Lennie about how he holds him back.
“God a’ mighty, if I was alone I could live so easy. I could get a job an’ work, an’ no trouble…An’ whatta I got? I got you!” (11) telling Lennie again how he has been held back.
“Well, I never seen one guy take so much trouble for another guy. I just like to know what your interest is”. (23) The boss doesn’t understand why George cares for Lennie.
“You was poking’ your big ears into our business. I don’t like nobody to get nosey”. (25) George to Candy, showing how difficult he finds it to have relationships with others.
“Jesus Christ, you’re a crazy bastard” (4) said by George
“Poor bastard”. (8) said by George early in the novel, showing he feels sorry for Lennie.
“You get in trouble. You do bad things”. (11) Lennie is reminded by George about the trouble he causes.
“George, you want I should go away and leave you alone?” (12) Lennie realises he is a burden to George.
“He’s sure a hell of a good worker”. (23) George describes Lennie’s good qualities.
“If I was a relative of yours I’d shoot myself”. (25) George reveals his frustration to Lennie.
“I think Curley’s married…a tart”. (29) Candy talks to George about her, showing that none of the men trust her.
“Nobody can’t blame a person for looking’”. (33) She talks to George and Lennie, showing she wants company.
“Jesus, what a tramp”. (33) George’s immediate impression of her.
“Don’t you even look at that bitch…I seen ‘em poison before, but I never seen no piece of jail-bait worse than her”. (33) George warns Lennie off her, shows how the men fear her sexuality.
“What the hell was she doin’?” (38) Curley looking for his wife, showing he doesn’t trust her.
You can find the full list of quotes for these characters and more below-
A popular character to be asked about is Curley’s Wife. The nameless wife of the son of the boss, she portrays most of the themes of the novel. Curley’s Wife suffers from loveliness, tension and other important themes. It is important to know how to answer a question of CW, as she is probable to appear in either the character or theme question.
To make it clear to yourself, take time to follow the exercise below. It will allow you to lay out your ideas in a structured way and allow for easier revision later in the year.
Curley’s wife appears three times in the novel. Briefly describe what takes place on each occasion. On which occasion does she reveal most about herself, and what is it?
- At the bunkhouse
- Appears in doorway (looking for Curley)
- adopts provocative pose
- George is cold to her, Lennie admires her
- leaves quickly when Slim mentions Curley
- Crooks room
- interrupts Crooks, Candy and Lennie in their dream
- again looking for Curley
- reveals her unhappiness, grows angry and insulting
- plays up to Lennie
- threatens Crooks, may accuse him
- leaves when other men return
- approaches Lennie
- reveals her loneliness
- encourages him to pat her hair
- Lennie panics and kills her
- Last time reveals most
- in fact, each time she reveals more
- to Lennie, she confesses her loneliness
- her dreams of being in pictures
- how she came to marry Curley
- her true feelings for Curley
Does Steinbeck Want The Reader To Feel Sympathy or Contempt For Curley’s Wife?
Read through Chapter 4 of the novel from the bottom of Page 109 to the bottom of page 114.
Create a two columned table.
In the left hand column identify the traits of her character that are likely to provoke contempt and in the right column explain the evidence which revealed this aspect of her character. Use quotations!!
Does Steinbeck Condemn Or Condone Curley’s Wife?
To answer this question correctly in the exam you must discuss at which point in the story you think Steinbeck is asking us to judge Curley’s wife as being a ‘bad ‘ person, or whether you think that at the end he is trying to make us feel some sympathy for her.
Remember that writers put characters across to us through describing:
- what they look like – physical appearance
- what they say – dialogue with others
- what they do – their actions
- what other characters say about them
If we look through the men’s eyes we see that they view her as just a ‘tart’ and are wary of her. The physical description Steinbeck uses reinforces this idea – heavily made up. And her actions are also provocative (leaning against the doorway. We also see she is cruel in what she says to Crooks.
However, there are occasions when we see a better side of Curley’s wife. We see her loneliness; she is kind to Lennie; she has a dream that she is not likely to achieve, like the other men on the ranch, and finally, Steinbeck’s description of her dead body seems designed to make us see her as a victim of life.
You answer should show that you have thought about the question and have set out a line of argument, showing both sides (condemn or condone) but finally reaching your own personal conclusion.
Consider the theme of loneliness in the novel, Of Mice and Men. How does it affect the friendships and relationships in the novel?
Where and when is the novel set? Where did the inspiration for the novel come from? Who is the book about? What kind of life do these people have? There are other characters in the novel who are also lonely. What makes them lonely? (Age, race, sex.)
Discuss the central characters – George and Lennie. Who are they? What do they do? What do they look like? Describe their personalities – what are they like? What do they like to do?
Discuss the relationship between George and Lennie – what is it like? What does George think of Lennie? How does Lennie feel about George? Who is in control? Why do they travel together?
Discuss the character of Candy. Who is he? What does he do? What does he look like? What is he like? Who is his ‘friend’? What does the future hold for him? How does he try to stop this? (Buys into a friendship.)
Discuss the character of Crooks. Who is he? What does he do? What does he look like? Where does he live? How does he describe his past? How does he describe his present life? How is he treated? How is he forced to spend his time? Why is he so bitter?
Discuss the character of Curley’s wife. Who is she? What does she look like? What do all the farm workers say about her? Why are all of the workers frightened to talk to her? Why does she marry Curley? What does she feel about him? How does she describe her life on the ranch? How does she behave – what things does she say and do in order to befriend the men? Why does she do this? Is she really ‘a tart’? At the end of the novel, what does her loneliness cause?
Look at the incident in the barn. What brings Lennie and Curley’s wife together – why are they there? What happens? How does this affect the relationships between George, Lennie and Candy.
Summarise your findings. As a guide, think about writing one or two sentences for each paragraph in the main body of your essay.
It is very important to know an essay structure which you will use in your exam. If you don’t, you may well find yourself scrolling down a load of nonsense half way through your essay, when you’ve ran out of stuff to write or simply don’t know how to write it down. The plan above can be adjusted for any theme, and any character.
Themes are another huge part of Of Mice and Men. Throughout the novel many themes are observed, and they all intertwine differently with each individual character. As part of the CCEA course, it is necessary to learn about these themes and there effects on specific characters. Having just completed the course, I know that while theme questions seem harder, they are often easier to gain marks in, and often easier to answer. I have included in this post a simple overview of the themes running throughout the novel. I would advice you to learn all the themes, but to intensely learn two of the themes. CCEA questions on themes often involve characters and how a specific themes effects them.
For example in June 2012, CCEA asked about the theme of dreams. However, they specifically related the question to two characters, Curley’s Wife and Candy. This meant that when a student answered the question they were not to talk about everything they knew about the theme but rather about how the theme effected that specific character. This answer also asks you to use an extract, something which one question of the two possible questions will always contain. It is fundamental to your answer that your spend at least 60% of the answer talking about this extract (pulling quotes etc.). CCEA will not award top band marks if you do not do this.
For CCEA it is also necessary to learn all quotes that will be needed for the Of Mice and Men exam, as it is closed book. This makes the non-extract question harder and makes part of the extract question harder (that part in which you discuss other areas of the book).
“With reference to the ways Steinbeck presents Curley’s wife’s dreams in extract 6 and
elsewhere in the novel and Candy’s dreams elsewhere in the novel, show how far you
agree that these dreams could never come true.”
This is also the question that I had to answer in June 2012.
Throughout the novel, we meet a select number of characters who we interactive with and get to know throughout the novel. Steinbeck vivid imagery allows us to really understand the minds of the characters involved in the story. CCEA often ask a character question in there exams and while many feel this is the easier option, it is often harder to attain marks in this section (which is why many prefer the theme question). It is necessary to know quite a bit of information about the characters and there interactions with other characters and there personal dreams. I have included in this post, a simple break down of each character from the novel, however please make sure to carry out extra research and do not just learn these paragraphs. Please click on the link below-