DO NOW. Pick up an Of Mice and Men background notes sheet. Prepare to take notes!!. Introduction to…. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. About the Author: Biography. John Steinbeck was born Feb.27 1902 in Salinas, CA
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DO NOW Pick up an Of Mice and Men background notes sheet. Prepare to take notes!!
Introduction to… Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
About the Author: Biography John Steinbeck • was born Feb.27 1902 in Salinas, CA • Grew up working summers on nearby ranches with migrants, becoming aware of their harsh lives • Attended Stanford University, but dropped out
John Steinbeck’s Work • Of Mice and Men was published in 1937 after a series of other failures • Masterpiece – The Grapes of Wrath about a family during the Great Depression. This epic novel won him a Pulitzer in 1940.
STEINBECK’S WRITING • Steinbeck’s stories are based on fact. He wrote what he knew. • His stories are often set in California and focus on detailed descriptions of nature. • Steinbeck is known for humanizing the working class outcast or “loser” archetype.
Marginalization Definition of MARGINALIZE • to relegate to an unimportant or powerless position within a society or group • to relegate to the fringes, out of the mainstream, to make seem unimportant • to place in a position of marginal (minimal) importance, influence, or power
“The Marginalized” in OMAM Race Age Social Class Intelligence Gender
Inspiration for the title The title of the novella is adapted from a line in the poem “To a Mouse,” by Robert Burns “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry”(astray, imperfectly, wrongly) No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it.
SETTING: • Salinas Valley, California (Steinbeck’s “backyard”) • During the time of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl
Migrant Workers in the 20’s/30’s • Thousands of people migrated to California during this time period for the promise of a better climate, gold and “The American Dream” • Many were disappointed when no jobs were available so migrant farming became popular – men abandoned their families, moving from one farm to another, finding short term work based on the harvest seasons.
CHARACTERS: • LENNIE is physically large and extremely strong. • As large as he is, he is mentally challenged, having the mentality and temperament of a small child. • He is fiercely loyal to and dependent upon George
CHARACTERS: • George was a good friend to Lennie • He was small of stature but wiry and well built • He was frustrated with the task of having to take care of Lennie but had compassion and loyalty as well
Chapters • Steinbeck writes his book like a play. Think of the end of a chapter as the lights dimming on the stage and the beginning of each chapter as the lights coming up. • Steinbeck establishes a new setting for each chapter change and he gives the audience a description of this location in the first few paragraphs. • This is also why the chapters are not numbered. They simply indicate scene changes, but it’s all really one long passage.
THEMES TO LOOK FOR • The importance of friendship • The struggles of loneliness • The worth and purpose of an individual life • Disillusionment (to free from illusion) of the American Dream
DO NOW • Take out your notes and a sheet of paper for your background notes quiz. • If you were not here on Friday (I know who was absent), start copying the notes from a reliable neighbor. • Turn in your A Separate Peace Ch. 11-13 Responding sheet to the front (if you haven’t turned it in yet). • ASP test grades are in!! If you’d like to reassess, come see me Wednesday after school!!
Of Mice and Men background quiz • What is John Steinbeck’s major masterpiece other than Of Mice and Men? • What is marginalization? Give two examples of marginalization we will see in OMAM. • What was Steinbeck’s inspiration for the title of the book? • What was happening in America in the 1930s? • Who is Lennie? Who is George? • Tell me three things about the “chapters” in Steinbeck’s work. • List three themes to look for in OMAM. ***When you finish, turn your paper over. I’ll come get it. Get ready to write down vocab words for OMAM!***
anguished (adj.): anguish is a feeling of great physical or mental pain. contemplated (v.) To contemplate something is to think about it. morosely (adv.): in a sad, gloomy manner recumbent(adj.): still; without movement bridled (v.): to pull one's head back in anger or pride complacently (adv.): in a pleased, satisfied manner derogatory (adj.): belittling and insulting liniment (n.): a medicated liquid rubbed on the skin to ease sore muscles and sprains mollified (adj.): soothed; pacified ominously (adv.): in a threatening way pugnacious(adj.): eager and ready to fight scourges (n.): a scourge is anything that inflicts discomfort or suffering slough (v): get rid of stable buck (n.): a stable is a building where horses are kept. A buck, in this case, is a derogatory word for a black man. bemused: preoccupied; deep in thought euchre: a card game VOCABULARY
The Fields of Salinas, CA The Fields of Salinas, California
Chasing the American Dream • “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” ( Emma Lazarus) Written on the base of the Statue of Liberty
The American Dream • You can be successful if you work hard and live morally. • America is the land of opportunity. • Freedom to work hard and be happy is enshrined in the Constitution. • The Dream assumes equality of opportunity, no discrimination, freedom to follow goals and freedom from victimization.
The American Dream • From the 17th Century onwards, immigrants have dreamed of a better life in America. • Many people immigrated to America in search of a new life for themselves or their families. • Many others immigrated to escape persecution or poverty in their homeland.
Immigrants dreamed of making their fortunes in America. • For many this dream of riches became a nightmare. • there were horrors of slavery, • there were horrors of the American Civil War, • there was a growing number of slums that were just as bad as those in Europe, • there was also great corruption in the American political system which led to many shattered hopes.
The idea of an American Dream for many was broken when in 1929, the Wall Street crashed, marking the beginning of the Great Depression. • This era affected the whole world during the 1930s, but even in the midst of hardship, some people’s dreams survived. • Thousands of people made their way west towards California to escape from their farmlands in the Midwest that were failing due to drought. • The characters of George and Lennie dreamt of having a “little house and a couple of acres” which was their own dream.
Is the American dream possible in the historical context of the novel and even the world today?