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    So I have my of mice and men English Lit GCSE Exam on Monday and I was wondering if someone could mark this practice essay I did and tell me what grade I would get. Thank you

    It is in the spoiler below by the way. Thank you
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    How important is Candy to the novel, with reference to the social and historical background of 'Of Mice and Men'? [20 Marks]

    Candy is an extremely important character in the novel who represents many things such as loneliness, fear, and discrimination. He's the 'old swamper' with a missing hand who is increasingly worried in his old age about his future.

    In Part Two when we first see Candy, he is immediately eager to welcome George and Lennie onto the ranch and fill them in on all of the gossip, especially the gossip on Curley's Wife. He says that Curley has 'married a tart' and seems excited to discus the trivial drama on the ranch. This shows some of the historical background of how men moved around during the Great Depression in 1930s America to look for work, and so Candy would never have known anyone long enough to make real friends with them.

    I get the impression that he was lonely and willing to talk to anyone, even two strangers. This fits in with the historical background of workers in 1930s America being very lonely and isolated, and never making many friends due to the amount of suspicion around at the time. There was suspicion due to the lack of jobs, and so everyone was suspicious of everyone and feared that someone would take their job away in 1930s America. Candy is desperate for someone to talk to.

    In Part Three we see Candy portray the theme of friendliness when he offers to 'pitch in' the $300 he got 'for the loss of his hand'. It shows that he is kind and willing to help out George and Lennie. More to the point, however, this action shows desperation and fear. In 1930s America when people got old and were no longer useful, they got 'canned'. As Candy said, 'they'll can me purdy soon'. Candy knows that unless he gets some security he will be sentenced to the same fate as his dog, disposed when he is no longer of use, which is why he is so desperate to pitch in to the dream.

    The shooting of Candys dog is a huge turning point for Candy in the novel. This again links in with the ageism in 1930s America, and with the themes of loneliness and discrimination. Candy says 'I had him since he was a pup' which is his reason for wanting to keep the dog. He obviously has a close connection with the dog, and like George and Lennie, has a companion and bond he doesn't want broken. Sticking with the historical background which is that in 1930s America not many men had friends, and where are usually solitary and travelled alone, and so the man on the ranch are unable to comprehend why Candy would want to keep the dog. In this scene Candy is important as he not only portrays the theme of friendship, but forms a parallel between George and Lennie, with Candy and George both having to make the decision to kill their lifelong friends.

    In Part 4, Candy is important because he is used to show how important the American Dream was to men on the ranch. The American Dream was common in 1930s America where 'everybody wanted a little piece of lands', and yet 'not one of them ever gets it'. After Candy is hopeful that the dream is his and that he will not have to live the rest of his life in fear of 'being canned' or 'wishing somebody would shoot [him]', he has a growth in confidence and so stands up to Curley's wife when she comes into Crook's room and starts teasing the workers, saying that they are the 'weak ones left behind'. This scene makes Candy important to the novel because he represents how tough the American society was at the time of the novel and how much men had to fear losing their jobs after the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed.

    In Part Five, Candy is the first person to discover Curley's Wife's body. When he immediately calls 'George!' it highlights to the reader that he is clever and able to think quickly and realise that Lennie was the one who killed Curley's Wife. When Candy immediately agrees to help George and lie for him, it shows how dependant he is on them buying the ranch, and also how grateful he is to George for allowing him to come onto the ranch.

    However, when we see George say to Candy that 'it was always just gonna be me and [Lennie]' we can see just how desperate Candy is. He is important at this point in the novel since he clearly showed the historical background of the novel and backs up what Ceooks said in Part Four - 'everyone wants a little piece of land and never a damn one of em ever gets it'.

    When Candy calls Curley's Wife a 'lousy tart' even though she is dead on the floor, he is important to the novel because he represents the theme of discrimination towards women, which was true for 1930s America when women didn't have Civil Rights. It again shows how much the dream meant to the men since Candy was so bitter, but also how disrespected women were in the sense that she is being blamed for something she wasn't responsible for. It shows again the historical background that even Candy, who was discriminated against himself, could treat a woman with so much disrespect. However, we can almost forgive Candy since we feel sorry for him as we know how his life will be from now on - lonely and in constant fear of being left with nothing,

    In conclusion, Candy is extremely important to the novel through the themes of loneliness and discrimination which he represents, but most of all through the fear which is his driving force throughout, which is that he's terrified that when he's no longer of use he will be 'canned' and got rid of, just like his dog. As we leave Candy at the end of the novel we feel very sorry for him, since he had his dream and his secure future right there in his hands and it was snatched away from him. We as the audience understand that Candy will now live the rest of his life alone with no one to care for him, and that he will be 'canned' and left with nothing, and even Candy himself knows this, and he leaves us at the end of this novel with all his fear still intact.
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    Please help as I have the exam on Monday and would really appreciate the feedback
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    really good, I would give this about a 17
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    This is prettyy good!!
    However i noticed that you used the phrase "1930s America" too many times. I'd suggest substituting that phrase with something like "at that time".
    Not all instances where you've used it though,substitute like just a couple


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    Guys i need serious help with OMAM and romeo and juliet we literally got told last minute we all had to sit the exam on monday and we done no revision what so ever in school. The teacher goes you can get a G grade and its fine but i want atleast C if its possible. Aaarrrrghhhh im so mad at themm, like why tell us last minute😡


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    (Original post by O.Adams)
    really good, I would give this about a 17
    Thank you very much, have you got any advice on how I could bring it up to an A* since that is my predicted grade
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    (Original post by Strangerdanger)
    This is prettyy good!!
    However i noticed that you used the phrase "1930s America" too many times. I'd suggest substituting that phrase with something like "at that time".
    Not all instances where you've used it though,substitute like just a couple


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    Thank you, yes I see what you mean now, I will start doing that now what grade would you have given this?
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    Hmm... 16-17 probably but if you go over it once more, I reckon you could get atleast a 19


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    Btw I started a revision thread for igcse english lit
    Im doing mice and men and inspector calls
    Care to join ?
    Heres the link if you're interested
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=3328657


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    It's very good, if you were doing a summary of Candy. Sadly, you would get very little marks on this despite the good choice of quotations, the reason behind this is because you're not analysing the context, methods, character or techniques in enough detail. You do not need to tell the story from Candy's point of view, so try starting your main points "Steinbeck uses the ...... to portray Candy as ......". You mustn't waste your time doing an introduction or conclusion, these gain 0 marks, despite whatever content is in the paragraphs.
    Having said that, the paragraphs starting "In Part Three we see..." and "The shooting of Candy's dog..." are much better, they include contextual knowledge, and show his importance as the personification of the older male members of society.
    Finally, remember, Candy is a character, so refer to him as one every so often, perhaps saying "Steinbeck's character Candy..."
    Good luck in the exam on Monday.
    Mr Porter-Brooks
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    (Original post by JJ.Porter-Brooks)
    It's very good, if you were doing a summary of Candy. Sadly, you would get very little marks on this despite the good choice of quotations, the reason behind this is because you're not analysing the context, methods, character or techniques in enough detail. You do not need to tell the story from Candy's point of view, so try starting your main points "Steinbeck uses the ...... to portray Candy as ......". You mustn't waste your time doing an introduction or conclusion, these gain 0 marks, despite whatever content is in the paragraphs.
    Having said that, the paragraphs starting "In Part Three we see..." and "The shooting of Candy's dog..." are much better, they include contextual knowledge, and show his importance as the personification of the older male members of society.
    Finally, remember, Candy is a character, so refer to him as one every so often, perhaps saying "Steinbeck's character Candy..."
    Good luck in the exam on Monday.
    Mr Porter-Brooks
    First of all thank you so much for such a detailed response! And yes I do try to analyse in detail but it is sometimes hard when under a 40 minute time limit but I hope I am improving. I agree and felt that the two paragraphs starting 'In Part Three we see...' and 'The shooting of Candy's dog' were my strongest.
    Thank you again for your excellent advice, and I shall try to do like you said and include more of how Steinbeck portrays the characters and what deeper contextual meaning this could have.
    I hope I can take your comments on board and hopefully do well in my exam.
    Thank you!
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    (Original post by Strangerdanger)
    Hmm... 16-17 probably but if you go over it once more, I reckon you could get atleast a 19


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    Okay thank you, how do you recommend that I improve it to get a 19 or 20 since my predicted grade is an A* and I'd like to meet this!
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    Maybe use stronger vocab and express your opinions and views more?



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    This is a very detailed and well structured essay! I would personally give you 18,just try and add some more quotes into your essay,and you'll be well on your way to achieve your A*
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    (Original post by English beast)
    This is a very detailed and well structured essay! I would personally give you 18,just try and add some more quotes into your essay,and you'll be well on your way to achieve your A*
    Thank you so much, I have just finished rereading the book and I have been picking out key quotes as I went along so hopefully I should be able to include many more!
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    (Original post by aneesha_brat)
    Guys i need serious help with OMAM and romeo and juliet we literally got told last minute we all had to sit the exam on monday and we done no revision what so ever in school. The teacher goes you can get a G grade and its fine but i want atleast C if its possible. Aaarrrrghhhh im so mad at themm, like why tell us last minute😡


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    That sucks. I haven't done romeo and juliet since year 9 so i'm no help there. For OMAM there are youtube videos by mrbruff that you can watch as they explain a lot. The main theme are the American Dream, loneliness, violence and really you just need contextual knowledge as to what life was like for people in 1930's America which you can find online. Just link your points to what life was like then and it should go okay. good luck
 
 
 
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