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Of Mice and Men

             Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck shows all the qualities of a classic novel by .
             Examines its themes, symbols, and motifs.
             II. Themes.
             a. Fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.
             b. Human Existence as Predators.
             i. Characters show signs of isolation.
             1. George, Lenny, Crooks, Curly, Curly's wife.
             ii. All seek to destroy those who are weaker than they.
             iii. Cruelty does not come from the hands of the strong or powerful.
             iv. Most profound kind of strength is in oppressing others.
             1. Derived from weakness.
             c. Male Friendship.
             i. The men of Of Mice and Men come together as brothers.
             1. Wanting dream of owning their own farm.
             ii. Cruel World.
             1. Prevented from having friendship.
             d. Impossibility of the American Dream.
             i. Most of the characters dream of a different life.
             ii. Want American dream.
             1. Idea of following their own desires.
             2. Acquiring own property.
             III. Motifs.
             a. Recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text's major themes.
             b. Corrupting Power of Women.
             i. Limited and unflattering.
             ii. Characters see women as trouble.
             iii. Ultimately the main female character dies from her womanhood.
             1. Flirting with Lennie.
             c. Loneliness and Companionship.
             i. Many characters admit to suffering from loneliness.
             ii. Admit to strangers about loneliness.
             1. Shows their desperation.
             iii. Many characters search throughout the novel for a friend.
             iv. Companionship of this kind is unattainable.
             d. Strength and Weakness.
             i. Physical Strength.
             1. Predatory Human Weakness.
             IV. Symbols.
             a. Objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts.
             b. George and Lennie's Farm.
             i. Seduces the other character.
             ii. Seduces the reader.
             1. Wants the two to reach their goal.
             2. Represents the possibility of freedom, self-reliance, and protection.
             c. Lennie's Puppy.
             i. Represents victory of the strong over the weak.
             ii. Shows characters unaware of the dangers around them.
             d. Candy's Dog.
             i. Represents the fate of anyone who has outlived his or her purpose.

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