In Of Mice and Men , he seems to appeal to a higher form of wisdom in the character of Slim, who does not aspire to anything beyond the sphere he occupies. His "understanding beyond thought" p. From the questions his characters pose about what it means to be fully human, Steinbeck may be understood to charge literature with serving not only as a call to action, but as an expression and acceptance of paradox in our world.
What makes Casy believe that "maybe all men got one big soul ever'body's a part of" p. Why does Steinbeck devote a chapter to the land turtle's progress on the highway? Why does Pa yield his traditional position in the family to Ma? What does Ma mean when she says, "Bearin' an' dyin' is two pieces of the same thing" p. In what sense does he mean "everywhere"? Why does Steinbeck interrupt the Joads' narrative with short chapters of commentary and description? Why does Rose of Sharon smile as she feeds the starving man with milk intended for her baby? What does Steinbeck mean when he writes, "In the souls of the people The Grapes of Wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage" p.
Why do different characters insist at different points in the book, "A fella got to eat" p. Why does the book start with drought and end with floods? Is the family intact at the end of the novel? Why does Uncle John set the dead baby adrift rather than bury it?
Does nature function as a force for either good or evil in this book? For Further Reflection As his land is destroyed, an anonymous tenant says, "We've got a bad thing made by men, and by God that's something we can change" p. Is Steinbeck suggesting that a just social order is possible? When the narrator says "men ate what they had not raised, had no connection with the bread" p. Can spirituality be maintained with increasing automation? Casy tells Tom about a prisoner whose view of history is that "ever' time they's a little step fo'ward, she may slip back a little, but she never slips clear back Do you agree with this view?
Why does George shoot Lennie?
Why is the dream recited repeatedly? What does Slim mean when he says, "A guy got to sometimes" p. Why does the book begin and end at the pond? Why does Candy feel he should have shot his dog himself?
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Is Curley's wife to blame for Lennie's death? Why doesn't Slim share in the other men's dreams? Why does Carlson get the last word? What is the meaning of the book's title? For Further Reflection Did migrant workers have any options for a better life? Did George do the right thing by shooting Lennie?
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Why could Kino kill the doctor more easily than talk to him? Why is it important to Juana that Kino be the one to throw the pearl back into the sea? Why does Kino think the killing of a man is not as evil as the killing of a boat? What does the narrator mean when he says, "A town is a thing like a colonial animal" p. Why does the music of the pearl change? Why does Kino come to feel that he will lose his soul if he gives up the pearl?
Why does Juana feel the events following the pearl's discovery may all have been an illusion? What is the significance of Juana and Kino's walking side by side when they return to the town? For Further Reflection Did Kino do the right thing in demanding a fair price for the pearl, even if it meant leaving his community? Why does Steinbeck choose the parable as the form for this story? In addition to his novels, Steinbeck produced newspaper and travel articles, short stories, plays, and film scripts.
Born in in Salinas, California, Steinbeck spent much of his life in surrounding Monterey county, the setting for some of his books. His experience as a young man working menial jobs, including as a farm laborer, ranch hand, and factory worker, was transformed into descriptions of the lives of his working-class characters.
After attending Stanford University intermittently for six years, Steinbeck traveled by freighter to New York, where he worked briefly as a journalist before returning to California. His first novel, Cup of Gold, appeared in , but it was Tortilla Flat , his picaresque tale of Monterey's paisanos, that first brought Steinbeck serious recognition. All orders are dispatched as swiftly as possible! Buy with confidence!.
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Penguin Classics: Master And Man And Other Stories
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