1. Does the story involve an epiphany of insight, revelation, or self-realization for the protagonist- or perhaps for the reader? How does the moment of realization contribute to the resolution of the work and/or the development of the protagonist? ? What’s an epiphany? It is the sudden realization or comprehension of the (larger) essence or meaning of something. Insight- perception Revelation- something that has happened Self-realization- realizing yourself Yes, the epiphany is the point when one of the protagonists named Lennie accidentally kills Curley’s wife in the barn.
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The moment of realization that he has done something wrong, when Lennie says in page 91, “ I done a bad thing. I done another bad thing. ” This quote clearly illustrates the evidence that Lennie understands exactly that he is in trouble. The resolution to the epiphany is when George finds Lennie where Lennie promised George to be in the clearing when he gets in trouble and, while retelling the story of life on their farm, shoots him in the back of the head, saving him from certain punishment for the death of Curley’s wife.
To make the resolution a proper one in the eyes of the people, George tells him the dream, as it helps Lennie feel better, and as people say, dieing happy is like dieing a natural death deserved by someone who has been good to the community. Some might disagree, but if you look at the murder incident through Lennie’s eyes, we can really see that Lennie didn’t mean to do it, but he wanted to calm down Curley’s wife, but accidentally killed her in the process.
His immature attitude to things makes us sympathize for him, as there’s really no way he can escape and live by himself, as George himself mentions that he isn’t mature enough to look after himself, otherwise the murder wouldn’t have even happened, as George told him to stay away from her in the first place. 2. At what point is the tension highest? How has the author built this tension? Where was it going? Tension- a situation of great suspense. In this question, they are essentially talking about the suspense in the book at the climax (the point in the story where the main character’s point of iew changes, or the most exciting/action filled part of the story. It also known as the main turning point in the story. ) Author- John Steinbeck Lennie accidentally kills Curley’s wife in the barn- (buildup to the climax) In Of Mice and Men the most obvious and significant climax or even turning point would have to be the murder of Curley’s Wife. To prepare the reader for this, Steinbeck writes about a number of episodes that are tragic, but not as tragic as the main climax, and others to show off Lennie’s strength, stupidity and naivety.
Doing this allows Steinbeck to have the climax without upsetting the reader by making them sad or not understand it was possible for a man to kill without realising it or having any intension of doing so. The first of the mini tragedies, that lead up to the main tragedy was when Candy’s dog was shot. Steinbeck attempts to make the reader feel sympathy for Candy by creating a strong tone of tension in the bunk-house. When George and Lennie first meet Candy, his dog is mentioned in his description as if it was a part of him and clearly states Candy’s admiration of it when Candy says in Page 44, ‘ He was the best damn sheep I ever seen”.
Later Candy’s sad in page 61 after his dog gets killed, “ I shouldn’t ought to of let no stranger shoot my dog. ” This makes essentially feel sorry for them. 3. Is the protagonist a round or a flat character? If round, what changes are evident? What do the changes demonstrate? If flat, what is the author’s purpose in creating this character this way? Talk about Lennie: (Repetition of things like petting rabbits, rats, getting scared- most quotes are already marked) An example of a flat character is the character of Lennie, who never really changes in the story. ubstantial change or growth in the course of a story. Also referred to as “ two-dimensional characters” or “ static characters,” flat characters play a supporting role to the main character, who as a rule should be round. (Lennie who never changes his habits) The author probably created the character this way, as back in the Great Depression, most people would travel alone, as seen by Slim’s response to George about Lennie when he talks about men usually travelling alone in page 35, Slim says, “ Ain’t many guys travel together. , which was about him travelling with Lennie. Later on he figures out why he did this, so does Crooks in page 71. Even though flat characters are supposed to be minor characters, Lennie is mentioned slightly more than George, as the narrator tends to focus more on Lennie’s character than George, making him another protagonist, making him the exception to the flat character rule in terms of definition. 4. What is the predominant point of view in this story? What are the advantages/disadvantages of this point of view?
The predominant point of view- Interestingly, although this narrator could tell us everything that everyone is thinking, feeling and imagining, the storyteller chooses not to. We are given a peek into only one character’s consciousness, and even then only once, when Lennie is in hiding by the river and imagines his Aunt Clara and a large, hallucinatory rabbit. This deliberate withholding of insider information was probably a result of Steinbeck’s intention to have the story be more of a play than a novella.
In plays, the audience can only know what the actors are saying and doing – they cannot have access to their thoughts. This means the narrator of this novella is omniscient (all knowing), but to a rather limited degree. Still, there might be more to Steinbeck’s choice of a “ limited omniscient” narrator. The limited omniscient third person narrator almost seems to mirror the characters of the play; in this hard-hitting, straight-shooting story, it simply wouldn’t be fitting to have a narrator gushing about how everyone feels all the time.
The characters of the novella tend to speak volumes with their silences (like when Candy can’t defend his dog, or Crooks can’t defend his status against Curley’s wife, or Lennie clams up around Curley). The ranch isn’t full of guys who like to wax philosophic. Without personal commentary or a narrator’s insight, the characters’ actions and speech alone do the most honest job of getting at who they really are.