Critical Lens 11th Grade English

Topics: Great Depression, Fiction, John Steinbeck Pages: 2 (509 words) Published: May 6, 2008
Critical lens

According to John Steinbeck “It is the responsibility of the writer to expose our many grievous faults and failures and to hold up to the light our dark and dangerous dreams, for the purpose of improvement” Perhaps Steinbeck’s quote means, that the purpose of writer is to reveal ones faults and dreams for the goal of improvement. I believe Steinbeck’s quote is a valid remark. His words are so eloquently exemplified in, Unforgettable Miss Bessie by Carl T. Rowan and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

In Unforgettable Miss Bessie, the theme of the story is that an influential figure can help one recognize their dream. The theme relates to the quote because the protagonist brings to light the narrator’s faults and how his, and many others, dreams could come true. In OF Mice and Men, The theme is the impossibility of achieving a dream. The theme relates to the quote because in the story faults and failures are recognized by the main characters but the dreams they hope for, never occur. In both literary works, the authors developed a plot that allowed characters to recognize their faults and strive for their dreams.

In Unforgettable Miss Bessie, The author uses many literary terms/techniques that convey Steinbeck’s quote for example, first person narration, setting and tone. In the story the first person narration gives the story a level of credibility. The author uses the narrator to show his admiration and respect for the teacher. The author points out the narrators faults and sets him on the right path toward his dream. The setting helps establish the quote. The setting takes place in racist America during the thirties. The narrator is poor and goes to a poor school. Miss Bessie tried to help empower her students to overcome adversity and strive for excellence. This could be shown when Miss Bessie heard him use slang in her presence and she told him to start using correct English. She set him on the path to success. This explains...
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