OM&M: THEMES

Alysia Bradley
Mind Map by Alysia Bradley, updated more than 1 year ago
Alysia Bradley
Created by Alysia Bradley almost 5 years ago
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GCSE English (Of Mice and Men) Mind Map on OM&M: THEMES, created by Alysia Bradley on 04/15/2015.

Resource summary

OM&M: THEMES
1 DREAMS
1.1 Every character suffers hardship in their daily life and dreams give them something to aim for. It makes their problems more bearable by providing a means of escapism from loneliness, unhappiness and prejudice.
1.2 GEORGE's dream was to have his own piece of land with Lennie. He'd be his own boss and Lennie wouldn't be able to get in trouble. It would also give him dignity and self respect as he would've achieved something himself.
1.3 LENNIE has the same dream as George and wishes to look after his own rabbits.
1.4 CANDY wants to join the dream when he hears about it, realising it will give him a future and is confident that it will happen. He wants the satisfaction of harvesting crops for himself rather than someone else.
1.5 CROOKS has a private dream based on childhood memories when he felt secure and surrounded by family. He dreams of equality and probably pulls out of the dream when he realises he'd be bossed around by George.
1.6 George and Lennie's dream was common in that era as many people wished to have a permanent home and not be under someone else's control. They dream of independence, security.
1.7 CURLEY's dreams seem to have come true as he has become successful at boxing and has acquired a wife. But neither make him happy as he is obsessive about both. Boxing made him more aggressive and his marriage is a laughing stock, he is unpopular. Curley is an example of dreams not being what you want when they come true, he is not given the admiration and respect he wants.
1.7.1 Marriage doesn't seem to be a dream come true for CURLEY's WIFE either, since she appears to have gotten married to get away from her mother. Her dream is on a grander scale and harder to fulfil. She's convinced she'd be better off in the movies.
1.8 All the dreams have a thing in common; the unlikelihood of it ever coming true. Curley's wife feel she may have missed her chance and George knows how hard it will be to scrape money together.
1.8.1 Crooks backs out of the dream showing the impossibility of the dream.
1.8.2 Deep down all the characters know their dreams probably won't come true but they won't relinquish them (give up on them) b/c otherwise they wouldn't be able to get by living such a hard life.
1.8.2.1 Lennie is the exception to this b/c he doesn't understand, right up until the end he remains blissfully ignorant as he dies imagining the dream has come true.
1.9 There are some examples of dreams coming true.
1.9.1 Lennie wishes for a puppy and Slim gives him one; CARLSON wishes Candy's dog would die and he finally gets to kill it; Bill Tenner had his letter published in a magazine.
1.9.1.1 For a dream to become true in OM&M then they must be kept simple. Only Curley, who has the advantage of being a ranch owners son, can afford the dreams that are more difficult to gain.
1.9.1.2 TENNER's small dream coming true is of great interest among the men. Whit refusing to let go of the magazine could symbolise his desire to hold onto his own dreams.
2 LONELINESS
2.1 Nearly all the characters express loneliness.
2.2 GEORGE seem to express his feelings most powerfully. He can ward his lonely feelings off to a certain extent b/c of Lennie, which may be part of the reason he puts up with the trouble so often. Lennie is the only real friend and companion but b/c his is backward George finds it hard to relate and share his feelings with him.
2.3 LENNIE appears to have no family except his Aunt Clara and has been with George since she died. Loneliness doesn't bother him as much as the other men as he is incapable of understanding what it means to be lonely; it takes very little to make Lennie happy.
2.4 CANDY is old, crippled and nobody pays him much attention; his is barely tolerated and so his dog really matters to him. When Carlson kills his dog his is left to be lonely again which is one reason he's so keen to be part of G&L's dream.
2.5 CROOKS mentions to Lennie about how when he was growing up there was not another coloured family for miles, his father didn't like him playing with white children either. He is made to feel even more of an outcast b/c he is crippled and so becomes weary of people; unsociable. He usually sits in his room reading, possibly from choice, but he hates feeling lonely still. Nobody really visits him and when Lennie and Candy go to see him he seems annoyed b/c he's used to being alone and it's as if his privacy has been invaded. Secretly. he's pleased to have company.
2.6 CURLEY's WIFE is lonely b/c she doesn't like her husband and is trying to avoid him whilst using the excuse that she's trying to find him. Her foolish behaviour means she is rejected as a tart, which has developed into a viscous circle since the more she seeks attention, the less men will talk to her in case they get in trouble. It is loneliness that leads to her death, ironically at the hands of the only person that has given her any attention.
3 DISCRIMINATION
3.1 Many of the characters suffer from PREJUDICE.
3.1.1 LENNIE is excluded from card games and the horse shoe tournament b/c he wouldn't understand the rules. He is backward and so they won't even allow him to socialise with them.
3.1.2 CANDY is largely ignored by the other men on the ranch and is expected to do all the dirty work, he is a "swamper" which means he's considered to do women's work. The men have little, if any, respect for him b/c he is old and disabled.
3.1.3 Curley is unpopular and so the men on the ranch have very little respect for CURLEY's WIFE, expecting her to be trouble too. Because they are prejudice towards her, they cannot see that her flirty behaviour is actually result of her loneliness.
3.1.4 CROOKS suffers the most prejudice. When the boss loses his temper, he takes it out on him, yet Crooks seems proud that the Boss and Slim visit him. But they do this as it's part of the boss's job to keep an eye on everyone and Slim's to take care of his team, which is often in the harness room, where Crooks has his bunk.
3.1.4.1 CROOKS is only allowed in the bunkhouse at Christmas or to fight one of the skinners. He can't go in to play card games or socialise b/c the others complain that he stinks. Carlson also complains about Candy's dog stinking which suggests he regards Crooks as no better than an animal, and an old, crippled, useless one too.
3.2 SEXISM
3.2.1 CURLEY's WIFE is not even given a name showing how she is regarded as completely unimportant. She is nothing more than Curleys possession, she has little identity of her own.
3.2.2 Curley wears a glove full of Vaseline to keep his skin soft and smooth, for her benefit. He doesn't show any consideration for his wife, it is more to establish publicly his sexual prowess. It makes her appear to be nothing but a sexual object, the only thing women are seen to be good for.
3.2.3 CURLEY's WIFE is lonely and doesn't realise that her childish behaviour which is due to a mixture of attention seeking and getting back at Curley, only puts people off her even more.
3.2.4 CW dresses up to keep her spirits up but this simply brands her as a tart. The other men are suspicious of her motives and won't flirt with her b/c it would anger Curley. Lennie cannot react like the other men and so she thinks he sympathises for her and may even like her.
3.2.5 GEORGE sees women as dangerous, he tells Lennie to keep his distance from CW describing her as "jailbait" and tells the story of a guy who is in jail "on account of a tart".
3.2.6 WHIT describes SUZY's place as a "hell of a nice place" showing that he respects her more than CW even though Suzy promotes sexism and shows women to be sexual objects. Suzy says that men walk "bow legged" out of Clara's place suggesting they have STI's making the women seem dangerous.
3.2.7 The only time CW is seen in a sympathetic light is after her death "very pretty and simple" "sweet and young". She looks the picture of innocence and no longer shows any signs of being mean and attention seeking. She was forced to live in such a suppressed and frustrating life and Lennie seems to have now put her out of her misery.
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