of mice and men
Dec 11/14: How Boys Become Men
- Read "How Boys Become Men". While you are reading, record your thoughts in a Double Entry Journal; record at least two quotes and subsequent thoughts (you will have a total of four quotes, two for each essay). Then answer the following questions:
- The end result of how they learn to behave as boys, says Katz, is that men find it difficult “to make friends or acknowledge our fears and problems.” They lack “sensitivity.” Do you agree? In you experience, is Kat’z analysis accurate or inaccurate? Explain.
- According to Katz, women are puzzled by “male culture.” How, in his view, do women regard men? Do you agree or disagree?
- In the first two paragraphs, Katz tells the story of a boy who prefers to get knocked down rather than be called a “chicken.” Why do you think he starts with this incident?
- “If you don’t understand something about boys, you can’t understand why men are the way they are….” To whom is Katz speaking here? What PURPOSES might he have for explaining the male maturation process to this particular AUDIENCE?
- Verbal IRONY is the use of one word or phrase to imply another with a different meaning. What’s ironic about the boy’s reply to Katz’s question in the last paragraph?
Nov 14/15: OMAM chs 5-6
- Read chapter 5-6 (pg. 42-54). Here's a decent audio recording. While you are reading, record your thought in a Double Entry Journal; record at least
- IMPORTANT: Read the instructions for your Of Mice and Men Multimedia Project. Be ready to work on your project next time in class. So if you're going to do a painting, bring your paint. If you're going to film a video, bring your equipment.
Nov 10/11: "To Build a Fire"
- Read Jack London's heartwarming story "To Build a Fire". Then answer the following questions:
- The main character in this story seems to take a pretty easygoing attitude toward his dangerous situation. It's not until things are really, really bad that he starts to panic. Would he have been better off if he'd panicked earlier, or was he right to remain calm for so long? Why?
- The narrator of this story makes sure to say, "there was no keen intimacy between the dog and the man" (15). How does this comment play out in the story? How would you characterize the man's relationship to the dog, and what does it suggest about London's general view of humans and animals? How might the story have been different if there were keen intimacy between the guy and his canine?
- How can we read "To Build a Fire" as a cautionary tale? What lesson can we take away from it that's relevant beyond the story's Yukon setting?
- What do today's stories about perseverance and survival (i.e. The Hunger Games) have in common with London's story? How are they different?
- London wrote another, more commercially acceptable ending of "To Build a Fire." In the first version, the man survives, returns to camp, and learns an important lesson: Never travel alone. Do you think this ending improves the story or weakens it? Explain your opinion.
Nov 8/9: OMAM ch 4
Nov 4/7: OMAM Class Discussion
- Answer the following questions:
- (Page 39) Why does George put himself down when talking to Slim?
- (Page 40) What is the correlation between smarts and niceness?
- (Page 51) Why does Curly's wife spend so much time around the men? What is she looking for?
- (Page 52) Susy's whore house is a seemingly normal place for the men to visit. How might the same type of place be seen today? Is this acceptable? Why/why not?
- Why do minor characters, even Susy the prostitute, and the dog Lulu, have names, but not Curley’s wife?
- (Page 59) We discussed the parallels between Candy and his dog and now Candy sees this parallel himself and wants to join George and Lennie on their potential land. Why does Candy want to join George and Lennie - who he just met - so badly?
- (Page 62) Carlson suggests Curly's wife has no place outside of the house. What does this say about his opinion on women? What does this say about the 1930's opinion on women? Has this opinion changed since the 1930s? How so? How is is similar?
Nov 2/3: OMAM ch 3
Oct 31/Nov 1: OMAM ch 2