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Themes Surrounding The Title Of "Of Mice And Men"

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Of Mice And Men Title: In this presentation I will talk about the title "Of Mice And Men", and the significance of various themes incorporated into the story in relation to how they associate to the title, such as the subject of Lennie's treatment of the mouse in the beginning, and how the animalistic deaths that transpire throughout the novel could be seen as an admonition to later events, in which Lennie is killed by George and conclude by answering if the title is effective in indicating the themes that are prominent in the novel. The title of the novel "Of Mice and Men" is an intertextual reference as it is a quotation from a poem written by Robert Burns, in which he speaks of a homeless mouse which is in fear following the destruction of its house. A quotation from the poem, "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley" means that everything, no matter how well deliberated or considered, is questionable to failure. Steinbeck took the title of the novel from this quote, as the two pieces of text are easily comparable in their matters, as in the novel, Lennie and George's plan to find a little place, how they wanted their dream, and yet it never materialized. ...read more.


You ain't so little as mice." This tells the reader that for a second time, Lennie has come into contact with a dead creature. Lennie was regretful because in previous segments of the novel as described above George had noticed that Lennie killed the mouse from petting it too hard, and once George seen the puppy, he would instinctively believe that it was Lennie who killed him (George's suspicions would in this case be parallel). Another parallel that could be argued is the mood of Lennie in the two situations of his mouse and the puppy. On page 7 he spoke out against having anything in his pocket ("Ain't a thing in my pocket") and with the puppy, he was predicting George's reaction, and was thinking defensively , and spoke to the puppy "Now maybe George ain't gonna let me tend no rabbits, if he fin's out you got killed". Finally, between the two animals, the way Lennie thought about them could have possibly conveyed that the dead puppy and his mouse were "companions" to him of sorts. ...read more.


You can see that all the deaths could possibly be linked because it started with the death of a miniature creature (mouse), then moved to an animal / pet (puppy) and as the deaths worked upwards of the scale of significance, it could be predicted that the next would be of a person, and this is what had happened in this case. Also, the reader could take relevance from the quote "All bad things come in threes"; This is the case in Of Mice And Men. To conclude, I believe that overall the title of the novel is an accurate indicator of the themes within the story, notably of the theory that all good things are not unbreakable (in reference to Lennie, George and Candy's dream) because as the events unfolded near the end the possibility of them happening became more and more distant and the chance was a thing of the past when George shot Lennie at the end, and this also highlights that failure is a powerful thing and the emotion and tension in the end showed this. ...read more.

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Response to the question

This is an excellent essay. It is confidently written and retains a consistent focus on the question proposed at all times. The candidate begins with a very precise and very clear introduction, which points out the intentions of the essay ...

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Response to the question

This is an excellent essay. It is confidently written and retains a consistent focus on the question proposed at all times. The candidate begins with a very precise and very clear introduction, which points out the intentions of the essay and the means by which the candidate wishes to go about satisfying the question. They then progress to make very clear page references during their analysis, incorporating more the one explanation for some symbols, motifs and themes (this is an excellent way to score extra marks - saying a lot about a littler; examiners love that the ambiguity of symbols can be appreciated as there is no one right answer for a lot of things).

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis shown here is entirely indicative of an A grade, possibly A* grade answer. There is a sensitive handling of the themes and symbols from Steinbeck's novel. There is also evidence of contextual appreciation (with regard to the title - an excellent way of boosting marks as it shows the candidate has incentive to conduct their own external research).All of it marries together well to form a brilliant analysis which shows confidence and initiative, linking the question topic with the representation of animals and foreshadowed and actual death in the novel.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication here is very good. The candidate makes a good use of their English skills to from an interesting and insightful answer with good, clear vocabulary shown. There is no cause for concern with regards to grammar, spelling or punctuation either.

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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 05/08/2012

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