Of Mice & Men Ch. 1: Character Contrast & Comparison

Chapter 1 of the book Of Mice and Men seems kind of slow because it’s just two characters sitting around arguing, but it does an amazing job of getting you to know these characters really well. There are a lot of descriptions of the characters and there is a lot more that you can learn by paying attention to the things they do and the way that they do them.

Your assignment:

  1. Create a DETAILED chart picking out descriptions of both characters. Use quotes from the book. Look for overt descriptions (eg “George was nice.”) and things that you have to infer based on the characters’ actions and reactions to each other. You need to include BOTH kinds of descriptions. You need good descriptive words for BOTH characters.
  2. Once you’ve got a good list, your job is going to be to compare & contrast yourself or someone else to one (or both) of the characters. There are good qualities and not so good qualities to both characters, and if you think about it, you can probably relate to one or both of them in some ways. This DOES NOT mean that you’re exactly like George or Lennie, but there are characteristics that you might share and ones that you surely will not.Using complete sentences and organized paragraphs, explain how you or someone you know are like AND unlike one (or both) of the characters. You need to include details directly from the novel and you need to include details that are overtly mentioned and those that you have to imply. Writing this as an essay is probably easiest and most straightforward, but if you have a more creative way of accomplishing these goals, run it by me first and we’ll see if it’ll work.

Here’s a sample that I started. I compare myself to one of my childhood heroes, not someone from this book (don’t want to make it too easy for you!) but you can see how I’d proceed with this: http://bit.ly/1Mk1KzE

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