Essay Structure for Of Mice and Men


When writing an essay you need to ensure that you not only keep close to the question/topic being asked, but you have to discuss your ideas in detail. Therefore, your paragraphs have to be rather “fat” because “skinny” paragraphs suggest that you have said too little! Here is how you can do it!

An essay contains an introduction, body (paragraphs) and a conclusion –a beginning, middle and end. Similarly, a paragraph follows the same principle:


P: Stands for Point. You need to introduce your idea in relation to the topic. Sometimes you will hear the phrase Topic Sentence. It means the same thing. As a guideline, try to introduce your idea in 2-3 sentences minimum!!!!

E: Stands for EXAMPLE. This is all about supporting your claims with a quotation from the text. Your example has to be first-hand. BEFORE you lead into your quotation, you must finish your sentence with a colon (:). There are more sophisticated ways of introducing quotations – the HOLY GRAIL of every essay writer is to put them in as if it flows with the rest of the paragraph. A quotation containing more than 20 words should be indented 5 spaces from the margin. Less than twenty 20 words, it can be contained in the paragraph. Your quotation needs to be correctly referenced (I will show you how this is done). Oh, yes, and by the way it is called a quotation not a quote –quote is a verb ie “to quote”.

A: This is the hardest part of writing a paragraph! It is at this point when you really discuss the whole idea introduced at the start  which is supported by the quotation.

This is big business because you are showing your ideas /thoughts-and your ability to think deeply! Give a minimum of 4 sentences for this one!!!.

So as you may be able to see; follow this idea and you will have nice, big, fat, fleshy paragraphs.


What evidence from the text suggests that the characters are lonely dreamers?


PARAGRAPH ONE: George Milton-focus on “Loneliness” QUOTATION: p 31 & 32

PARAGRAPH TWO: George Milton-focus on “Dreaming” QUOTATION: p 145

PARAGRAPH THREE: Lennie Small-focus on “Loneliness” QUOTATION: p32

PARAGRAPH FOUR: Lennie Small-focus on “Dreaming” QUOTATION:

PARAGRAPH FIVE: Crooks-focus on “Loneliness” QUOTATION: p 105

PARAGRAPH SIX: Crooks-focus on “Dreaming” QUOTATION: p 106

PARAGRAPH SEVEN: Candy-focus on “Loneliness” QUOTATION: p 71

PARAGRAPH EIGHT: Candy –focus on “Dreaming” QUOTATION: p 87

PARAGRAPH NINE: Curley’s Wife –focus on ‘loneliness’ QUOTATION: p 125

PARAGRAPH TEN: Curley’s Wife –focus on “Dreaming” QUOTATION: p 124





Of Mice And Men Essay Example

Below is an example of an essay which recieved a Grade C – Good. The writer clearly understands the novel and themes as posed by the question. Some paragraphs are lacking in detail and the use of language also lacks sophistication, though the message conveyed is clear.

Of Mice and Men



In Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men, the characters are trenchantly described as “Lonely Dreamers.” Since there was a stock crash in 1929 everyone got economically depressed. Lennie and George are two men who go to work on a ranch. They encounter many complications. Crooks one of the ranchers wanted to be equal to the others. Candy is a poor old swamper who is depressed of friends and Curley’s wife wants to be a film star but can’t, so they all suffer and therefore dream and are lonely.

 George Milton is a lonely dreamer who has a friend named Lennie Small who is very immature and George is an outcast between the ranchers. The company of Lennie makes George feel lonely and make a picture in his mind about a dream-come-true ranch. George thinks that they (Lennie and George) are the loneliest ranchers because they have no family so George tells Lennie:

“Guys like us that work on ranches are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don’t belong no place.

                                                            (Steinbeck 31-32)

Here loneliness is expressed through George, talking about the unexisting family. George has no quality conversations with someone of his own age, because Lennie is very immature. George desires a family and someone to talk to who understands.

 George Milton dream a lot. He always keeps on complaining that he had to look after Lennie but if he didn’t he could go an make fifty bucks by working in another job. He could then use the money and go buy something he likes, or go to a whore house. George was definitely dreaming because he wasn’t going to leave Lennie alone and please his own will, he tells Lennie what he feels:

“An’ when the end of the month came I would take my fifty bucks and go to a….cat house…”

(Steinbeck 145: 2000 Ed)

George was not allowed to leave Lennie, runaway and get money, it is impossible because George promised Aunt Clara and he would feel guilty to leave Lennie who doesn’t know how to handle things. George was in a very hard position.

Lennie didn’t have much of a family except George who scolds Lennie all the time. If George had a fight with Lennie then Lennie would feel very lonely and have no one to talk to. When Lennie became friendly with George then he would be very happy because he would know that he has George and George has Lennie to look after each other, so he expresses his feelings towards George:

“Because…..because I got you to look after me and, you got me to look after you, and that’s why.”

(Steinbeck 32: 2000 Ed)

Since them both had each other then Lennie didn’t feel lonely and so had someone to talk to. IT was George’s job to look after Lennie so they had to stick together.

 Lennie small has dreams like us. George thinks of having a dream garden and keeps on telling Lennie about it because Lennie wants to ‘tend the rabbits’ so he keeps on wanting to hear about the garden. He also wants to hear about what all is going to be in the garden so Lennie is imagining all of this because he won’t get the dream garden so he asks again:

“Go on; George! Tell about what we’re gonna have in the garden and about the rabbits in the cages and about the rain in the winter and the stove.”

(Steinbeck’s 32: 2000 Ed)

Lennie really likes animals and soft things so he really wants to pet the rabbits and experience the rain in the winter while he is in his imaginary garden.

 Crooks is a very lonely man because he doesn’t have many friends and is a victim on racial prejudice. Since Crooks has no one with him he always sits up at night getting bored and not doing anything just thinking ok companionship, equality, how lonely he is, what and outcast he is and how racist others are towards him. Since he is an afro- American man and the others are white. He then expresses his feelings: 

“A guy sets alone out here at night, maybe readin’ books or thinkin’ or stuff like that.”

(Steinbeck 105: 2000 ed)

Since Crooks is so lonely he is really sad because he finds it very hard to make friends and act the same as the others. Crooks is now having a rough time.

 Crooks is dreaming of seeing hundreds of men walking o the ranches because there aren’t many people on the ranches anyway because no one likes the ranches. Since Crooks is always dreaming he imagines many things, so he dreams that he sees:

“I see hundreds of men bye on the road’ an on the ranches with their bindles on their back.”

       (Steinbeck 106: 2000 Ed)

I think Crooks has an imaginative mind because he is severly lonely because of his skin colour and race and what others think of him.

 Candy is one of the ranchers who  is lonely too and like George and Lennie doesn’t have any relatives with him. Even Candy doesn’t have many friends. Candy is also old so he thinks that one that he will die and leave his belongings with Lennie and George since Candy doesn’t have anyone else. Candy tells Lennie and George:

“I’d make a will an’ leave my share to you guyz in case I kick off,’ cause I ain’t got no relatives nor nothing.”

(Steinbeck 71: 2000ed)

Candy really wants to go away since he doesn’t have anybody with him. So he always thinks how unlucky he is and how deprived he is of his family.


Since Candy doesn’t have much company in the bunk house he hears Lennie and George talking about their imaginative ranch which Candy finds very nice and would like to live on a ranch like they want to. So Candy is prepared to do something in the ranch and share some property so he adds in saying:

“S’pose I went in with you guys. Tha’s three hundred am’ fifty bucks

I’d put in. I ain’t much good, but I could tend the chickens.”

(Steinbeck 87: 2000 Ed)

Candy was so upset about his life so he really dreams of doing things but can’t because it is too difficult for him, but would like to do something with others.


Curley’s wife is in a really bad shape since she has a horrible husband and no one likes her because of the way she acts and dresses, for e.g. she flirts with the ranchers, wears bright red lipstick and nail polish and so everyone wants to keep their distance from her. She only has a poor old dog to give her company since her husband is so mean to her so she complains:

“Why can’t I talk to you? I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely.”

(Steinbeck 122: 2000ed)

She is really upset with her life and is miserably lonely. She is one of the rejects, because of who she is. She has a bad attitude and dresses up really badly, also the way she talks is very annoying.

 Since Curley’s wife is so lonely she dreams a lot. She thinks she is so great and too thinks that she is so beautiful that she can get any guys she wants and get married or dance with him. She dreamt that she danced with her dream- come- true man and so repeated her dream:

“Nother time I met a guy, an’ he was in pitchers, went out to the

Riverside Dance Palace with him.”

(Steinbeck 124: 2000ed)

She thinks that her life is full of miseries so she desires many things

especially having a better husband and becoming a film star.

 Lennie, George, Candy and Curley’s wife are lonely dreamers. Lennie and George get a lot of ideas from dreams and so think that the dreams can come true. They think that dreams can also cause them to solve their problems. Candy is such a lonely sweeper that he thinks that his dreams will help him. Since Curley’s wife has no company she dreams and so her day goes faster. So if somebody is lonely, they dream, then their moods would improve and so they start thinking about other things. Dreaming helps a lot of people. 










Of Mice and Men And A.A Milne’s ‘Us Two’ (Grade 8)

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 Today we started looking at the theme of friendship in Of Mice and Men. Lennie and George are each other’s only friend, and although the friendship does not come without a large degree of stress, there is a tremendous sense of loyalty and commitment to each other. Note how in Section Two when we are introduced to the characters in the bunkhouse, the ranch men are incredibly lonely with no friends at all. Candy has his old dog, but if we re-read the end of the chapter that friendship looks as though it’s going to come a sad end. The relationship between Lennie and George reminded me of A.A Milne’s poem ‘Us Two’, the persona being Christopher Robin who is Winnie the Pooh’s best ‘human’ friend. Think about Lennie and George as you read the poem. Maybe a comparison can be also made between the imagined farm and chasing dragons? At the end of this poem is a reading by Katie Holmes (yes that’s right, Tom Cruise’s wife).
Wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
Whatever I do, he wants to do,
“Where are you going today?” says Pooh:
“Well, that’s very odd ‘cos I was too.
Let’s go together,” says Pooh, says he.
“Let’s go together,” says Pooh.”What’s twice eleven?” I said to Pooh.
(“Twice what?” said Pooh to Me.)
“I think it ought to be twenty-two.”
“Just what I think myself,” said Pooh.
“It wasn’t an easy sum to do,
But that’s what it is,” said Pooh, said he.
“That’s what it is,” said Pooh.”Let’s look for dragons,” I said to Pooh.
“Yes, let’s,” said Pooh to Me.
We crossed the river and found a few-
“Yes, those are dragons all right,” said Pooh.
“As soon as I saw their beaks I knew.
That’s what they are,” said Pooh, said he.
“That’s what they are,” said Pooh.

“Let’s frighten the dragons,” I said to Pooh.
“That’s right,” said Pooh to Me.
“I’m not afraid,” I said to Pooh,
And I held his paw and I shouted “Shoo!
Silly old dragons!”- and off they flew.

“I wasn’t afraid,” said Pooh, said he,
“I’m never afraid with you.”

So wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
“What would I do?” I said to Pooh,
“If it wasn’t for you,” and Pooh said: “True,
It isn’t much fun for One, but Two,
Can stick together, says Pooh, says he. “That’s how it is,” says Pooh.

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?