To Kill a Mockingbird - Mr. Jason Spitzer, English Language Arts
Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck Overview Set in California during the Great Depression, Of Mice and Men is the story of two migrant workers George Milton and Lennie Small who dream of one day saving enough money to own land of their own. The Characters George
Milton Lennie Small John Steinbeck One of the greatest and most prolific American writers of the 20th century. During the late 1930s and 1940s, he wrote several important novels set in California which dealt with the plight of impoverished peoples who sought to improve their lives against unfortunate circumstances. Of Mice and Men (1937) The Grapes of Wrath (1939) The Pearl (1947)
Historical Context During the 1930s, the unemployment rate was high in the U.S., and with so many men searching for work, agencies were set up to send farm workers to where they were needed. In the novel, George and Lennie (the two main characters) were given work cards from Murray and Readys, which was one of the farm work agencies. These workers would earn $2.50 or $3.00 a day, plus food and shelter.
These migrant workers lived day-today, with no apparent futures and no families. George and Lennie, however, believe that theyre different: they have each other and they have their dream. Theme s Dreams Friendship The Brotherhood American Dream Loneliness Powerlessness Fate
My Brothers Keeper Man and Natural world Genr e Realism: Naturalism A story in which narrators depict characters objectively and dispassionately, reflecting the idea that humans are human beasts subjected to the whims of the natural world with little control.
Tragedy Centers around a flawed character who faces his or her downfall gracefully. Morality Play A kind of literature which features an everyman who faces obstacles and meets symbolic characters along his path. Styl e Point-of-View Colloquial/ism Imagery Symbolism Juxtaposition Morality
Parallelism Theme Characterizatio Tone n Play The Title Steinbecks title was inspired by an eighteenth century poem called To a Mouse [on turning her up in her nest with the plough] by Scottish poet Robert Burns. In the poem, a man incidentally ploughs over a mouses den while tending his field. As the mouse suffers the man compares the plight of this mouse with that of mankind:
The best-laid schemes o mice and men Gang aft agley, [often go awry] An leae us nought [leave us nothing] but grief an pain, For promised joy. According to the speaker, how are mice and men alike? Research Project
In groups of 4-5 students, research and present one of the following topics. Discuss how the topic is presented in the fictional Of Mice and Men and how it actually existed in history: The Great Depression in California John Steinbecks life, accomplishments, and beliefs. FDR and the New Deal Soledad, California and Salinas, California
Migrant Workers in California The American Dream American Society in the 1930s California in the 1930s Include a Works Cited in MLA format. Assessment You - will be graded based on:
Content (including works cited) - Presentation (eye contact, voice projection, etc.) - Visual Aid (clear, easy to follow, informative, not distracting; and works cited)
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