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'Of Mice and Men' is a famous novel written by John Steinbeck

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YR 10 MEDIA ASSIGNMENT: 'OF MICE AND MEN' By Fatima Mir 'Of Mice and Men' is a famous novel written by John Steinbeck; Steinbeck was born in 1902 in Salinas Valley, California and he set 'Of Mice and Men' during the Great Depression. He based the storyline on his personal experiences and ventures. The novel was later adapted into a motion picture starring John Malkovich and Gary Sinise. This essay will examine various aspects of the film; the films treatment of the story, characterisation, camera work, symbolism, special effects and the use of music. The film does not follow the book exactly as several scenes from the novel have been edited to add climax and tension. For example some important aspects of the book have been changed. The first change is George and Lennie going into the boss' house to meet him instead of the boss meeting them in the bunkhouse; George doesn't scold Lennie for talking in front of the boss when he strictly told not to say a word; George is introduced to Slim over dinner but in the book they first meet in the bunkhouse; George comes into Crooks' room to get Lennie while in the book Candy joins Lennie and Crooks and they all discuss the dream, then even Crooks starts to believe in the dream and asks if he can be part of it. ...read more.


Gary Sinise also fits George's physical description, "Small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp, strong features". He is shown to be the brains and Lennie the brawn. He is like the responsible father of Lennie, always taking care of him and trying to keep him out of trouble e.g. the scene where George gets Lennie out of Weed because he got into serious trouble for touching a woman's red dress. Candy, the swamper, is faithful to his description in the book, "A tall, stoop-shouldered old man" and so is his character. Curley, the Boss' son is described as, "A thin young man with a brown face, with brown eyes and a head of tightly curled hair" (hence the name) but the actor in the film has straight hair. However some characters differ from the way they are described in the book. In the book Slim, the jerk line skinner, is described as "Prince of the ranch"...he moved with a majesty only achieved by royalty and master craftsmen" and he has a lot of authority and respect among all the ranch men in fact, "His authority was so great his word was taken on any subject, be it politics or love". In the film his authority and respect doesn't come across as much as it does in the book. The actor playing Slim didn't look the way the reader would have imagined him, "His long, black, damp hair straight back. ...read more.


The 'rabbits' symbolise the dream and a symbol for Lennie of a better life. The 'dead mouse' symbolises death and a sense of foreboding (that something bad is about to happen). Music is a key element in any movie because it helps to build up tension e.g. the famous theme tune of 'Jaws' or the music used in 'Physco' as the person is being murdered the beat is set by every stab. Music also shows the mood and is there to accompany the action on screen e.g. when the men are chasing George and Lennie at the beginning of the film the music gets louder and louder. In contrast to this is the use of complete silence to set the mood e.g. when they are on the train and when they are hiding in the ditch. The silence can represent calm or tension. The music when they are discussing the 'Dream' is very relaxing and soothing, which again reflects the mood. Overall the novel is a tragedy because you feel sympathy for George because he had to kill his friend who had become like a brother to him. The film relays the novel, keeping along the lines of the story but is still a film worth watching even if the audience has not read the book. This is because the director has altered and added scenes to include tension, drama and climax. People who have read the book would be satisfied that the characters and storyline follow the book almost to every aspect. ...read more.

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