First things first, a character map (:
Allusions and reoccurring themes- STRONG BIBLICAL ALLUSIONS
* Refer to story of Cain and Abel! Every name starts with a “c.” Those people are supposed to be descendants of Cain and forced to live in isolation and loneliness. * “You are your brother’s keeper” George takes care of Lennie, he is his brother’ keeper. Loneliness and Isolation!
* Lennie is excited to go on to live out the “American Dream,” but this is difficult because of the conditions of the time period. * People didn’t have lasting friendships; refer to when Whit sees the magazine with the old worker’s letter in it. No one remembers this man. (pg. 46-47) * No one was happy! Mrs. Curley, shortly before her death, admits to wanting to be a movie star to Lennie. EVERYONE HAS A DREAM THEY CAN’T FULFILL! * The time period required men to go to place from place, making it nearly impossible to keep friends.
Symbolism of Dogs-
* Slim (God) = Kill’s *Lulu’s puppies to save the others. DARWINISM! Survival of the fittest. He looks out for Candy’s old dog, wants to end suffering. Gives Lennie a puppy. * Dog’s have the pack mentality! Old saying- Dog eat dog world. Attach the weakest, the men see Lennie as weak because he isn’t too bright. * CYNICISM! Cyno (Latin root) = dog. People are motivated purely by self interest. * Candy’s old dog- symbolizes Lennie! The dog id a companion like Lennie is to George. But the dog is useless, old and a burden. Lennie is a burden on George. Candy says he “should of done it himself” when the dog is killed because it is his best friend. FORESHADOWING ALERT- Lennie’s death, George does it. George is his best friend. * Carlson- Characterized as impatient, selfish. *ANTAGONIST,* the “anti-friend” He usurps the role of God. * Curley’s Wife- she’s mean, “bitch.” REPRESENTS LEVELS OF POWER! Boss and Curley are above everyone, then Mrs. Curley, then the others....