(Original post by Roshniroxy)
Okay here's a few things I remember from last year when I did my exam on 'Of Mice and Men':
Cyclical structure of chapter four where it starts with crooks rubbing his back and ends with it, you could perhaps say that Crooks is trapped in such a cycle and it is not possible for him to attain his dream.
''nobody never gets to heaven and nobody gets no land'' = syntactic parallelism. I suppose it epitomises how there dreams will remain unfulfilled and this . And I found this short analyses about it on enotes:
Crooks is a very cynical man because of the way that he has been treated during his life. Because he is a Black man, he is forced to live in a separate room on the ranch away from the other men. He reads books to pass the time but has no real relationships with the other men who work on the ranch. His cynicism has made both his belief in God and in dreams disappear. So when Lennie first tells him about the dream he and George have of a farm, Crooks simply doesn't believe it can happen. That's why he says," Nobody never gets to heaven and nobody gets no land." In other words, heaven doesn't exist for Crooks and neither do the fulfillment of dreams. He is sure Lennie and George will never achieve their dream of a farm or land.
Hands do exist as an underlying symbol in Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men. Perhaps the most poignant image of hands comes with relation to Curley.
Curley's hands have dual meaning. One hand, the one without the glove, is meant to symbolize strength. Curley is very open about his fighting ability and it is even spoken about among the ranch-hands. Curley's other hand, the one with the glove, is one he protects with Vaseline--"Keepin' that hand soft for his wife."
The symbolism of Curley's hands change after his fight with Lennie. Curley underestimates Lennie's brute strength and Curley's hand is crushed. This symbolizes two very distinctive things. First, the crushing of Curley's hand depicts the crushing of Curley's ego. He has been beaten by a man he deemed weaker and less of a man than himself. Secondly, the crushing of Curley's hand represents the loss of his own sexual prowess/power. Lennie, by crushing Curley's hand, takes away both Curley's sexuality (the ability to please his wife) and his fighting past.
Outside of that, Candy's lack of a hand represent his inability to be a true man. He is unable to perform the tasks as well as the other ranchers and they look down on him for this. Lennie's hands simply represent a combination of brute strength and softness. It is Lennie's inability to comprehend his strength which results in the death of the animals he adores. As for Curley's wife's hands, they represent what is lacking on the ranch--a woman's touch.
Important things that I'm sure will get you your A*:
The book is a microcosm
of the 1930's American Society when Crooks is the representation of the Black, Curly's Wife the representation of women, Candy of the old etc.
George and Candy are both very cynical they find it hard to believe or trust anyone where perhaps Lennie and Curly's Wife are the opposite they're isolated in their own ways and full of dreams both have their own dreams that they believe will come true however such dreams cannot survive, such innocence cannot survive in that society. Lennie's death (and Curly's wife earlier on) symbolises and makes poignant point that dreams cannot survive and neither can innocence. Furthermore everyone throughout the book finds it strange that Lennie and George come together they're together which is aired by the bosses' suspicion (can't remember the quote) which is justified as they're all isolated and are used to isolation. Their friendship is not only strange but it just cannot fit, it cannot survive and perhaps Steinbeck's ultimate point is that we all must end up in isolation and the only way that will happen is with Lenni's death.
Lennis' death is the death of many things and do remember to write about that.
They're all lonely.
Fraternity between George and Lennie. George is his keeper.
Context: Wall street crash, the great depression, time when Black or women did not have rights. Hence Curley's wife does take the mickey out of crooks but neither of them or different they're both the same ultimately.