• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and contrast the importance of the description of the Amphitheatre in "The Mayor of Casterbridge" and the description of the death of Candy's dog in "Of Mice and Men" - In particular deal with their implications as omens.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

OMENS IN THE NOVELS "OF MICE AND MEN" AND "THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE * Compare and contrast the importance of the description of the Amphitheatre in "The Mayor of Casterbridge" and the description of the death of Candy's dog in "Of Mice and Men". In particular deal with their implications as omens. Throughout these two novels we come across certain parts of the book that almost give you an insight to the ending of the story. In the case of Mice and Men we come across the death of Candy's dog that marks a major omen in the story. In the case of the Mayor of Casterbridge we come across chapter eleven where Michael Henchard and Susan Henchard have secret meeting in the Amphitheatre, which again is another Omen. Although these two events are similar in that they both serve as bad omens, they each have a different meanings and importance for the characters in the books. In the Mayor of Casterbridge, the author has his story based primarily upon the life of one character, Michael Henchard. We start the story off mainly with descriptions of Henchards actions, and from this we get an almost instant impression of him as being a bad person, when we find out that he sold his wife to a sailor while being drunk. ...read more.

Middle

" It looked Roman, bespoke the art of Rome, concealed dead men of Rome. "... in 1705 a woman who had murdered her husband was half-strangled and then burnt there in the presence of ten thousand spectators. Tradition reports that at a certain stage of the burning her heart burst and leapt out of her body, to the terror of them all..." " The arena was still smooth and circular, as if used for its original purpose not so very long ago." From analysing the descriptions, the author at times seems to ridicule Henchard of his bad future. He almost makes him seem as if he is blind to the surroundings he is in. For example, the author describes, "...the historic circle was the frequent spot for appointments of a furtive kind. Intrigues were arranged there; tentative meetings were there experimented after divisions and feuds. But one kind of appointment - in itself the most common of any - seldom had place in the Amphitheatre: that of happy lovers." This is very strange in that although the author goes to great length to describe the terrible aspects of the amphitheatre and its bad luck, Henchard doesn't at any point realise his surrounding, worse is that he believes that the amphitheatre is the best place to meet. I think the importance of this is the whole idea of a bad omen. ...read more.

Conclusion

I found that after reading the story in of mice and men it was blatantly obvious that the dog was an omen for Lennie's end and George's sad days to follow. This was only because after reading the book I had the benefit of hindsight which gave me a more sharp and specific idea of what the omen was implicating. I think this is the same situation that I am in with the omen in the mayor of casterbridge. I think to understand the more specific implications of this omen you simply have to read the book fully, so that you have the benefits of hindsight. From further reading I soon cam to realise a much more deeper meaning to the amphitheatre. For Michael and Susan the one thing keeping the positive experiences away are the ghosts of the past, the gladiator killed in battle or in a sporting contest, and the woman who was strangled and burned. I think that these past ghosts serve as "metaphors" for Michael and Susan, who have their own past problems haunting them. Although the meeting seems to bring the couple together, they, out of their arrogance are blinded to their surroundings and most of all, their true fate that they are actually being led to their destruction as those in the past were. Michael will fall in a "battle" (like the gladiator) for his pride, while Susan is being "strangled" (like the executed woman) by Michael's control. By Sayfur Rahman 10B ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Steinbeck section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE John Steinbeck essays

  1. Compare and contrast the importance of the description of the Amphitheatre in “The Mayor ...

    Susan, his long lost wife, who was thought to be dead suddenly reappears with his mysterious daughter, Elizabeth Jane who has been kept in the dark for so long. These characters seem to build an unstable foundation for his life ahead, at first seeming innocent to him, later become somewhat of a threat to his integrity.

  2. Loneliness In Of Mice and Men

    Steinbeck depicts George and Lennie as two innocents whose dream conflicts with the realities of a world dominated by materialism and greed. Their extraordinary friendship distinguishes them from other hopeless and lonely migrant farm workers. The novel portrays a class of ranch workers in California whose plight had been previously ignored in the early decades of the twentieth century.

  1. Of Mice and Men

    You lay offa me" (68). Carlson joins Slim in warning Curley to look after his wife and soon Candy joins in the teasing of Curley. Curley, unable to intimidate the others, frustrated and angry, turns to Lennie, who is still smiling, imagining the ranch and his rabbits.

  2. "Character is fate" wrote Hardy. How far do you think Henchard in "The Mayor ...

    bitter stubborn man, pushing the reader to believe that Henchard's loneliness is caused by his character. ' "Bide where you be," he echoed sharply. "good g---, are only fit to carry wash to a pig trough, that ye use such words as those?"

  1. Why I think Candy was added by John Steinbeck to his book

    Steinbeck uses this character to protest against ageism and the treatment of the disabled during the Great Depression. The repeated reference to Candy's hopelessness could be understood as a protest against ageism. He says more than once that if he "can't swamp out no bunkhouses, they'll put" him "in the county".

  2. A breakdown of Steinbeck's 'Of mice and Men'.

    Curley's wife scoffs at Candy's indignation and doubts what he says: "If you had two bits in the worl', why you'd be in gettin' two shots of corn with it and suckin' the bottom of the glass" (87). Candy controls his temper and orders Curley's wife to leave, telling her that she's not wanted.

  1. Of Mice and Men

    Candy also remarks that Curley's behaviour seems to have worsened since his marriage. George is very worried by the encounter with Curley, and sees trouble ahead. He reminds Lennie that if he ever gets into trouble he should run down to the brush by the river and wait for George.

  2. Both of Mice and Men and The Mayor of Casterbridge end in tragedy. In ...

    grief and pain For promised joy" This extract reflects the way in which living things are often powerless to face forces greater than themselves like fate and therefore I believe that this is a worthwhile point in which to start my essay.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work