Section One-Of Mice and Men (Homework Questions -Due 7th March)

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1) What do Steinbeck’s first descriptions of George and Lennie tell us about the characters? Is there anything which he writes about Lennie which leads us to believe that he has the mind of a child?

2) What hints are there in the opening dialogue (conversation) between George and Lennie tell us about the nature of their relationship?

3) What  is the significance of the dead mouse in terms of what it might say about Lennie?

4) George appears to get easily annoyed with Lennie. Do you think that George is being honest when he states that he would be better off without Lennie?

5) What do you think George asks Lennie to familiarise himself with the location of the clearing where they spend the night?

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16 thoughts on “Section One-Of Mice and Men (Homework Questions -Due 7th March)

  1. 1) What do Steinbeck’s first descriptions of George and Lennie tell us about the characters? Is there anything which he writes about Lennie which leads us to believe that he has the mind of a child?
    George is kind of the one who knows what’s going on and where they’re going etc… Lennie is the big guy with a personality and behaviour of a 10 year old boy, he is shy and he forgets things and does things that kids do. George is responsible for Lennie and he has known lennie for a very long time. They are like brothers.
    2) What hints are there in the opening dialogue (conversation) between George and Lennie tell us about the nature of their relationship?
    The first chapter of the book Lennie and George had a conversation about where they’re going and what their doing. Gorge mentioned that he could have gotten a better jog, wife and kids, and would live alone without Lennie, although George says all this, George actually cares a lot for Lennie because they have known eachother for a very long time.
    3) What is the significance of the dead mouse in terms of what it might say about Lennie?
    Lennie finds mice all over the place and after about a minute it dies… Lennie wants to pet it but George does not because Lennie keeps killing them.
    4) George appears to get easily annoyed with Lennie. Do you think that George is being honest when he states that he would be better off without Lennie?
    I think that George loves Lennie as a brother and a friend. Its just that sometimes Lennie gets really childish and thats why George gets annoyed. I also think that George is does not mean what he says.
    5) What do you think George asks Lennie to familiarise himself with the location of the clearing where they spend the night?
    so that if their in any trouble, Lennie could just hide in the brush.

    1. Thank you Lovely!! Congratulations on being the first on the board! Your answers show a really good understanding of the characters after one lesson. Keep up with the great effort!

  2. In the first section we are introduced to Lennie and George. The author describes George as a fierce-looking and sharp character, while Lennie is described as “having wide-sloping shoulders and walking heavily.” This shows him as a softer and even shyer character. Some clues where the author leads us to believe that Lennie has the mentality of a child is when we see how Lennie imitates George in everything they do. This is a typical thing that Children do as they try to learn and become comfortable. Another indication is that Lennie plays with George over the mouse, telling him he doesn’t have it, but we as a reader, know he has; and this can be struck by as a little childish.

    When George tells Lennie not to drink too much as he could get sick when Lennie drinks from the pool, we can take out that George seems to be protecting him; and that he is the father figure of the two, while Lennie being the child and aspiring to be like him.

    Later in the section we begin to see that he likes to pet mice. This shows that Lennie is obsessed with ‘soft’ things; he talks of the mice and other animals as toys. “Lets have different color rabbits, George” as Lennie mentioned. Although he is sort of unaware of his actions, as he subsequently kills the mice without realizing when he pets it.

    George would have an easier life without Lennie, however he feels a sort of responsibility over him and he wouldn’t want to let him slip away as he has a fear of Lennie being troubled out on his own. Although he gets easily annoyed with him, he does care for him and doesn’t want to lose him. In addition, loneliness is a big part of a typical person like George and Lennie, but as George has Lennie as a companion, he wouldn’t want to give that away.

    George tells Lennie that if he gets into trouble in the ranch where they were going, he was to run and hide in a brush near the location of the clearing where they spend the night. He tells Lennie to repeat it numerous times so he doesn’t forget, so he can familiarize himself to the area.

  3. 1) What do Steinbeck’s first descriptions of George and Lennie tell us about the characters? Is there anything which he writes about Lennie which leads us to believe that he has the mind of a child?

    George is small, tough and smart,on the other hand, Lennie is big, wreckless and unaware of anything around him. In every single conversation they have, Lennie is always asking the same questions, just like a child would. George is very responsible and even though Lennie is very immature, he loves him and won´t let him leave his side.

    2) What hints are there in the opening dialogue (conversation) between George and Lennie tell us about the nature of their relationship?

    Once you read the first chapter of the book, you automatically understand the situation Lennie and George are in. They have obviously known each other for a fair bit amount of time and they need each other to survive and be happy in the environments they are in. George really cares about Lennie, and even if he knows he could have a very successful life without him, he wouldn´t want it if he were to lose Lennie.

    3) What is the significance of the dead mouse in terms of what it might say about Lennie?

    Lennie is more or less wreckless and clueless. He doesn´t want to kill these mice. It just happens because he loves them too much. Somehow, by showing something too much affection, you could end up simply killing it.

    4) George appears to get easily annoyed with Lennie. Do you think that George is being honest when he states that he would be better off without Lennie?

    Yes. He would be better off without Lennie, but is that what he would really like?
    Lennie has been there with him this whole time, so why would he want to suddenly run off? Of course, George always seems to be on a short fuse with Lennie, but friendships don´t exist without a little fighting and that is the exact case that these two men are in.

    5) What do you think George asks Lennie to familiarise himself with the location of the clearing where they spend the night?

    So that if anything goes wrong (which obviously will) he could have a safe hiding place to wait till George would come and rescue him.

    1. Yay! Thanks for sending. Your responses are insightful and shows that you have a very good understanding of the characters so far. You have identified the complexity in the friendship between Lennie and George, and I also like how you sense that things may just go horribly wrong as hinted at the end of the first chapter. In fact at the end of each chapter there is a great sense of foreboding, as if tragedy lurks around the corner. At the end of Chapter Two, any guesses about what might happen to Candy’s old dog?

  4. Hi Josh! Your responses are excellent -I especially like the first one as you really keep close to the question. Your ability to support your ideas with reference to the text (the quotations) is excellent, showing maturity in your analysis. Keep up the good effort!!

  5. George and Lennie are good friends. George is quite thin and is responsible for Lennie after Lennie’s Aunt Carla passed away. He moves around with his friend a lot to find work and because Lennie gets them into trouble. Lennie is around the same age as George but he is chubbier. In the first chapter, Steinbeck puts in the feeling that Lennie has short-term memory. We are given a feeling that Lennie has a mind of a small child because of the way he expresses his likeness of animals in a childless way.

    The first time we met the main characters, George and Lennie was when Lennie was drinking water out of a pool. George acts mature and responsible and tells him not to drink too much because “the water isn’t running”. Most fresh water runs along a stream or river. This indicates that the water could be some what dirty.

    The significance of the dead mouse tells us that Lennie likes animals. During the conversation between Lennie and George, George says that Lennie killed the mice because he squeezed their heads. Also, Lennie likes stroking mice, this is why is killed them by accident because they were biting him. Lennie, however doesn’t think much about the fact that he killed the mice.

    George is being honest but he just doesn’t want to hurt Lennie. George has a tough life trying to provide for himself and Lennie when Lennie is getting them fired. However, I also feel that George isn’t being honest because he knows he is responsible for Lennie and that he could never leave him with the condition he is in.

    George wants Lennie to familiarize himself with the location of the clearing and small pool because George knows something is going to or might happen. He knows that Lennie will forget that George told him to keep quite while they meet their new boss. So if Lennie familiarizes himself with his current location, he would be able to find and remember it if he is in trouble.

  6. 1) Steinbeck’s descriptions of George and Lennie allow us to form an image of these characters very well. He has a small, thin figure and is a responsible, smart, mature man. On the other side, Lennie has a big figure with “wide-sloping shoulders” and “walking heavily” as quoted from the book. He is rather childish, immature and not very bright.
    Lennie is described in a way that leads us to believe that he has the mind of a child through his actions, way of speaking and his reactions to certain things. He imitates George’s actions like a child would imitate a parent’s actions and has short-term memory like a child does. Also, his obsession over mice and wanting to pat them resembles the actions of a child and can be seen as immature.

    2) From the opening dialogue between George and Lennie, we are able to understand that they have a very close friendship. Although at times they get annoyed at each other, deep down they are dependant and they wouldn’t be able to survive alone. We can tell this from the way that George always keeps Lennie under his wing. Despite the fact that George would have a successful, easy life without having to take care of Lennie, they continue to travel together and take care of each other no matter the cost.
    3) Lennie has an obsession over mice and wants to have them to pet and keep him company. However, he shows too much affection towards them and continues to kill them unintentionally. The dead mice give a warning that something bad is going to happen as the story unfolds. The fact that too much affection led to their death creates a dark, suspenseful mood and signifies that something similar will happen later in the story.
    4) George appears to get easily annoyed with Lennie and at one point, states that he would be better off without Lennie. I think George is being honest in a sense that he wouldn’t have to take Lennie under his wing all the time. He would have the freedom to save up money, spend it at the ‘cathouse’ and have an easy, comfortable life. However, George knows that he would be unhappy and lonely without Lennie’s friendship.
    5) George asks Lennie to familiarise himself with the location of the clearing where they spend the night. In my opinion, George does this so that Lennie can have a safe place to hide when in trouble. This place also acts as a meeting place where George and Lennie can meet if at any time, they are separated.

  7. 1) What do Steinbeck’s first descriptions of George and Lennie tell us about the characters? Is there anything which he writes about Lennie which leads us to believe that he has the mind of a child?

    George and Lennie are opposites in a way; George is the little, smart one, while Lennie is the big clumsy, yet strong one. Because Lennie has a mind of child, George has to take care of him, and talk for him, because Lennie might mess things up a bi if he starts saying stupid things to other people.

    2) What hints are there in the opening dialogue (conversation) between George and Lennie tell us about the nature of their relationship?

    George and Lennie are like brothers, but usually men don’t go together like they do. George would have been fine going alone, but Lennie needs him a lot, so George is being really nice, because he is sticking with Lennie and taking care of him, when he could go of by himself. Lennie would probably not be okay with that, he is not smart enough to live by himself.

    3) What is the significance of the dead mouse in terms of what it might say about Lennie?

    Lennie does not really understand that you don’t just pick up a dead mouse from the ground to carry it in you pocket, and pet it; he must be a very caring man. He uses the mouse as a toy, which tells us he is kind of childish too, and he gets easily bored, so he needs something to play with, while walking with George.

    4) George appears to get easily annoyed with Lennie. Do you think that George is being honest when he states that he would be better off without Lennie?

    I do think George would be better off without Lennie, but Lennie is like a brother too him, and he needs him, so he cannot just leave him. George loves Lennie as a friend, probably like a brother too, even though he can be annoying at times. George knows that Lennie has a mind of a child, and he knows he would never be okay without his care for Lennie.

    5) What do you think George asks Lennie to familiarise himself with the location of the clearing where they spend the night?

    Lennie tends to get in trouble a lot without really meaning too, so he might need a place to hide if something happens. Also, we are told that Lennie has a very bad memory, so he needs to familiarise himself really well with this place, so he will remember it. This can also tell us that something will happen, and they will return to this place.

  8. 1) In the book George and Lennie are friends but their personalities are differing from each other. George is a sharp confident man that can survive in any situation. He is in charge while Lennie is shapeless and more like a kid that is a follower. George always protects Lennie from troubles and takes care of him like a parent. Lennie has a mid like child because he doesn’t remember what George tells him and he is kind of naive person. It is also shows how he behaves like an animal and looks more like a playful child.

    2) In addition, at the beginning of the story George and Lennie communicating with each other like a parent and a child. George is always explains to Lennie different things while Lennie is just listening and asking more questions back.
    Lennie follows George and acts relatively unaffected. As a result, we can truly see that the one is clear leader which is George on a determined path while the other is a dependent follower which is Lennie.

    3) The dead mouse is significant because it reminds the reader of Lennie’s mental absence and not intelligence and how deep hearted he truly is.

    4) People often say things they don’t mean and George is no exception. He does get frustrated with Lennie just as any parent would with a disobedient child. Sometimes, Lennie acts like a disobedient child and annoys George with so many questions. But if George was without Lennie he will be bored and lonely. Because Lennie makes him a good company.

    5) George is one of those people who would always have a plan for emergency. He is that kind of person that is thinking towards and keeping it in mind. He asks Lennie to familiarize himself with the location of the clearing because if Lennie get into trouble so he can return to that place and protect himself. It is also will help them to meet each other when they are separate.

  9. 1) What do Steinbeck’s first descriptions of George and Lennie tell us about the characters? Is there anything which he writes about Lennie which leads us to believe that he has the mind of a child?

    George and Lennie has the exact opposite characteristics. George is small, tough and smart, while Lennie is Big, useless and stupid. In every sentence they say, Lennie starts off with a question like a child would do. George is being mean because he wants Lennie to learn. This means that George cares about Lennie and he knows that he is responsible for him.

    2) What hints are there in the opening dialogue (conversation) between George and Lennie tell us about the nature of their relationship?

    Right in the start of the book, you realize that George cares about Lennie, because George tells Lennie not to drink too much in a pool or else he would get sick.

    3) What is the significance of the dead mouse in terms of what it might say about Lennie?

    Lennie keeps mice in his pocket, which no adult would do. He does this so he could keep himself in company, but by petting these mice, he constantly kills it. So George is trying to keep mice away from Lennie

    4) George appears to get easily annoyed with Lennie. Do you think that George is being honest when he states that he would be better off without Lennie?

    George tells him off all the time because he wants Lennie to know that he has done something wrong so he could fix it. George does not mean to say what he says to Lennie, because he wants him to stay with him the whole time.

    5) What do you think George asks Lennie to familiarise himself with the location of the clearing where they spend the night?

    In case of any trouble caused by Lennie or George, they could go back and hide in the bush.

  10. 1. Steinbeck’s first descriptions of George and Lennie let us imagine these characters well. The characters George and Lennie are opposite in a way. George has a small figure and is smart, mature man. Lennie has a big figure and is childish and immature. George is responsible for Lennie and has to take care of Lennie because Lennie has a mind of a child.

    2. At the beginning of the story, we are able to understand the relationship between George and Lennie. George and Lennie are not brothers but have very close friendship. Lennie follows George and listens to him. By this, we can clearly see George acts as a leader, on a determined path, with dependant follower, Lennie.

    3. Lennie is too immature to understand that you just don’t pick up the dead mouse and pet it in your pocket. He also shows too much affection, resulting in continuously killing them unintentionally. The significance of the dead mouse also tells us that Lennie likes furry animals.

    4. George appears to get easily annoyed with Lennie and states that he would be better off without Lennie. I think George was being honest at one point but Lennie is like a brother to him so he can’t leave him and also at the fact that Lennie has a mind of a child and is not so bright, George knows that Lennie would never be ok without his care. George knows that he would be lonely and unhappy without Lennie.

    5. George wants Lennie to familiarize himself with the location of the clearing and small pool for emergency hiding place when Lennie is in trouble. Lennie has a very bad memory, so he needs to familiarize himself with this place, so he will remember it. The place could also act as their meeting place for George and Lennie if they get separated.

  11. 1) What do Steinbeck’s first descriptions of George and Lennie tell us about the characters? Is there anything which he writes about Lennie which leads us to believe that he has the mind of a child?
    Steinbeck shows that Lennie and George are both very different from each other. While George is small, but tough and smart, Lennie is big, quite childish and unaware of his surroundings. Whenever George and Lennie have a conversation, you can tell that the questions Lennie asks are childish, and repeated quite a few times, which George is responsible for answering.

    2) What hints are there in the opening dialogue (conversation) between George and Lennie tell us about the nature of their relationship?
    George and Lennie are practically brothers. It is not very common to see two men, having the same relationship that George and Lennie do. Even though George seems to get annoyed of Lennie constantly doing or saying something that he doesn’t like, you know that they both love each other because they are like brothers, and they can’t live without each other.

    3) What is the significance of the dead mouse in terms of what it might say about Lennie?
    Lennie thinks that any animal you see around can’t just immediately become your pet. He seems to be a very caring and thoughtful man, thinking about how the mouse would feel.

    4) George appears to get easily annoyed with Lennie. Do you think that George is being honest
    when he states that he would be better off without Lennie?
    Because George is annoyed, he might just say something that he doesn’t mean. What he doesn’t realize at that moment is that he won’t be better off without Lennie, because it won’t be the same.

    5) What do you think George asks Lennie to familiarise himself with the location of the clearing where they spend the night?
    Lennie gets in quite a lot of trouble, but without meaning to. Because of this, George always thinks of a hiding place for Lennie, just incase he does get into any kind of trouble. Since Lennie has a short-term memory, he has to have it repeated to himself a lot so that he does not forget.

  12. 1) What do Steinbeck’s first descriptions of George and Lennie tell us about the characters? Is there anything which he writes about Lennie which leads us to believe that he has the mind of a child?
    George and Lennie are both different in personalites. George is small and a firece sharp character, while Lennie at the other hand is a big shy character that is a big softie. Some clues that lead to Lennie mind of a chile is that he copies movements, motions of George just like a child he copys other people to learn and feel comfortable. Also how he denies that he has the dead mouse to George which can be childish thing to do.

    2) What hints are there in the opening dialogue (conversation) between George and Lennie tell us about the nature of their relationship?
    George and Lennie are both pratically like brothers even though they are not realted. George is more or the leader and overprotectice for Lennie like a mother with a child. This can be read at chapter one where Lennie drinks from a poo of dirty water and George tells him not to drink so much. Also Lennie listens to whatever George say and does.

    3) What is the significance of the dead mouse in terms of what it might say about Lennie?
    This shows that Lennie is being too affectionate to soft things. He thinks that whatever things that he picks up can auotamatically become your pet. He also unittentionaly kills the pets without realizing it.

    4) George appears to get easily annoyed with Lennie. Do you think that George is being honest when he states that he would be better off without Lennie?
    Yes, I do think that George is being honest because really, he could have a way better life without him have a house, travel with a girl and he won’t have to bail Lennie out anymore. But he cannot just leave Lennie because he loves him like a brother so he wouldn’t just abondon him.

    5) What do you think George asks Lennie to familiarise himself with the location of the clearing where they spend the night?
    Lennie in fact gets in trouble a lot without meaning too. So George tells Lennie to familiaris this locations where they are sleepping to run back here if he ever gets in trouble and wait for George to come and get him. Lennie also has a short term memory so he has to repeat and look around the place so he can come back here to hide.

  13. 1) What do Steinbeck’s first descriptions of George and Lennie tell us about the characters? Is there anything which he writes about Lennie which leads us to believe that he has the mind of a child?
    Steinbeck’s first description of George and Lennie tells us that the two characters are very close, not brothers or related but good friends and they rely on each other. Steinbeck writes that Lennie forgets things very easily and that he loves to pet furry animals and likes to capture mice and pet them in his pocket. This tells us that Lennie has the mind of a child because he doesn’t think like an adult even though he is.

    2) What hints are there in the opening dialogue (conversation) between George and Lennie tell us about the nature of their relationship?
    The hints that are given in the opening dialogue between George and Lennie tells us that they are really close friends and that they rely on each other to get through things. This also tells us that they must have known each other for a long time.

    3) What is the significance of the dead mouse in terms of what it might say about Lennie?
    The significance of the dead mouse and Lennie and what they both have in “common” is that the mouse is fragile and that a mouse doesn’t have a huge memory capacity and that links with Lennie where Lennie has a very short memory capacity like the mouse. Lennie is also very soft inside like emotional and is fragile in many ways. Also there is a link between the mouse and Lennie where mice likes to play around and so does Lennie because he has the mind of a child.

    4) George appears to get easily annoyed with Lennie. Do you think that George is being honest when he states that he would be better off without Lennie?
    I think that George is not being honest about him saying that he would be better off without Lennie because in reality George would come to miss Lennie a lot. Lennie is always with him even though he finds Lennie frustrating sometimes with a person that has a mind like a childs. I think George would not find it easy without Lennie, also because I think that George looks at Lennie like it’s his own brother and I don’t think any sibling can live without their other sibling for a lot of time. That is why I think George is not being honest when he says that he would be better off without Lennie by his side.

    5) What do you think George asks Lennie to familiarise himself with the location of the clearing where they spend the night?
    I think that George asks Lennie to familiarise himself with the location where they spent the night in the clearing because George is afraid that Lennie will do something bad at the ranch where they work and if he does, George wants Lennie to be safe and not get in anymore trouble. I also think that George asks Lennie to familiarise himself with the location because Lennie has a short term memory and George is also afraid that if Lennie does do something that the ranch doesn’t like, Lennie knows exactly where to go so he doesn’t stand there and doesn’t know where to go, so George is being a good friend.

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