Essay, Research Paper: Of Mice And Men Detail Analysis

Literature: Steinbeck

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CHAPTER 1 "O.K. Someday--- we're gonna get the jack together and we're
gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an' a cow and some pigs
and-----" "An' live off the fatta the lan'," Lennie shouted.
"An' have rabbits. Go on George! Tell about what we're gonna have in the
garden and about the rabbits in the cages and about the rain in the winter and
the stove, and how thick the cream is on the milk you can hardly cut it. Tell
about that, George." This was the conversation of two laborers, George
Milton and Lennie Small. This was their impossible dream, which once seemed to
be within reach. However, due to Lennie's aggressive behavior, this dream
evaporated. Yet, was Lennie to blame for this? What was the cause of his
actions? A. Objectives This research paper aimed to: 1. identify Lennie's
childlike qualities, 2. analyze Lennie's aggressive behavior, and 3. gather
sufficient information regarding mental retardation. B. Statement of the Problem
This paper aimed to answer the following questions: 1.a. What were Lennie's
childlike qualities? b. What events displayed Lennie's childlike qualities? 2.a.
What events displayed Lennie's aggressive behavior? 3.a. What was mental
retardation? b. How did you determine if a person was mentally retarded? c. What
was the cognitive functioning of a mental retardate? C. Hypothesis If Lennie
Small exhibited childlike qualities and behavioral disorders and was poor in
memory, thinking and reasoning, then, he was mentally retarded based on his
cognitive functioning. D. Methods and Procedures This research paper aimed to
use a descriptive-analytical method of study. E. Significance of the Study This
paper enabled the researcher to analyze Lennie Small's psychological state. The
researcher also gained information regarding the background of the novel and its
characters. Moreover, it enabled both the author and the audience to understand
mental retardation and the victims of this condition. F. Survey of Related
Literature 1. Chess, Stella and Mahin Hassibi. "Principles and Practice of
Child Psychiatry" A book that was accurate and comprehensive covering not
only child psychiatry but also psychological disorders of adults. 2. Engle, T.L.
and Louis Snellgrove "Psychology" This book involved the principles
and applications of psychology. 3. Goodman, Michael. "Barron's Book Notes:
John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men" It was a guide to the plot and structure
of the novel. G. Scope and Limitations This research aimed to determine Lennie's
psychological state. Furthermore, it aimed to ascertain the cognitive functions
and behaviors of a mental retardate. However, the intelligence or I.Q. of Lennie
Small was a limitation; likewise, the other characters' psychology was a
restriction. H. Definition of Terms 1. Adult- a person who had reached an age of
maturity as defined by law, usually the age of 18, sometimes the age of 21 2.
cognitive function- this involved the language behavior, learning, memory,
thinking, reasoning, motivation, and behavioral disorders of a person 3.
childlike- innocent; frank simple 4. I.Q.- intelligence quotient; a number that
showed a person's intelligence 5. Mental retardation- subnormal intellectual
development or functioning 6. Ranch hand- farm laborers CHAPTER 2 BACKGROUND OF
THE STUDY John Ernst Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California and was educated
in Stanford University, leaving without taking a degree. His novel, Of Mice and
Men, was published by Civici-Friede on February 6 1937. He was a Nobel laureate
for literature on the 25th of October, 1962 "for his realistic as well as
imaginative writings, distinguished by a sympathetic humor and keen social
perception." Two years later, he died of arteriosclerosis in New York The
novel Of Mice and Men was originally called Something That Happened. It was
converted into a play by George Kaufman, which had 207 performances. This play
received the New York Drama Critics Award. There are also two film versions of
the novel. One was created in 1940 and the other, just recently, in 1992. The
plot of the novel was a tragic story of two itinerant farm laborers yearning for
a small farm of their own. The two main characters were Lennie Small and George
Milton. The minor characters were as follows. Slim and Carlson was two of the
other ranch hands. Candy and Crooks were the outcasts of the novel. Curley was
the son of The Boss, which appeared to be the villain of the novel. Curley's
Wife was a sad character constantly avoided by everyone in the farm, except by
her husband, because she was believed to spread trouble. Lastly, there was Whit
who played a very minor role in the novel. CHAPTER 3 PRESENTATION OF DATA The
novel opened in the banks of the Salinas River. For the moment, the place is
peaceful, and then two men emerged from the path. The first man was small and
quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp, strong features . Behind him
walked his opposite, a huge man, shapeless of face, with large pale eyes, with
wide sloped shoulders; and he walked heavily, dragged his feet a little, the way
a bear drags his paws . The dialogue of the two then started as George made
sharp and critical remarks of Lennie as Lennie drank water from the pool of
water. Lennie's response was innocent and generous . The dialogue continued to
follow this pattern of critical comments from George and innocent responses from
Lennie through the next several pages . As their conversation progressed, George
discovered that Lennie kept a dead mouse with him and threw it away across the
pool. However, Lennie retrieved the mouse and George threw it away for the
second time. Lennie's lip quivered and tears started in his eyes . George began
to comfort him. Their conversation brought them to the issue of the reason they
left Weed. The researcher discovered that they had to run out of the last town
because Lennie touched a girl's dress and frightened the girl. And, they moved
to another town to work in another ranch except they stayed in the woods rather
than going straight to their destination. They continued to talk and under
Lennie's encouragement saying that he had forgotten, George articulated their
dream to have a piece of land. Then, George reminded Lennie of what he was to do
the next day and instructed him of what he was to do if in case he got in
trouble. The chapter closed with the two men going to sleep. The second chapter
started Friday morning at the bunkhouse. George and Lennie signed up to the buck
barley. As The Boss was questioning them, George answered all the questions. He
didn't want Lennie's dumbness to show and maybe cost them their jobs . Curley
arrived and tries to pick a fight with Lennie. Because of this, George reminded
Lennie where to hide if there's trouble. They met Curley's wife, Slim and
Carlson. The two new ranch hands discovered that Slim's dog, Lulu had puppies
and Lennie wanted one of them. Chapter three opened set on the same day in the
bunkhouse. Lennie got the puppy he wanted. George told Slim of why they traveled
and worked together. In between, George made comments about Lennie like "He
can't think of nothing to do himself " or "He's as dumb as hell.
" Lennie entered coming from the barn crouched over and George knew that he
was hiding the puppy. George instructed him to take the puppy back to its nest.
George and Slim continued their conversation and George again made a remark
about Lennie, " Sure he's jes' like a kid. There ain't no ore harm in him
than a kid neither. " Then, Carlson killed Candy's old dog with his Luger
and Slim went to the barn to treat a horse. While the rest went to see if Slim
is with Curley or Curley's wife, Candy committed 350 dollars to George and
Lennie's 600-dollar dream. When everyone returned, Curley beat on Lennie until
George told Lennie to fight back. Lennie crushed Curley's hand. Slim ordered
Curley to say it was a machine accident. Chapter four focused mainly on
"the outcasts" which are Crooks and Candy. It presents many themes yet
it didn't present any relevant childlike qualities or aggressive behavior of
Lennie Small. Sunday afternoon, while the rest played horses, Lenny killed his
puppy in the barn. Curley's wife showed up. Lennie explained his fondness for
soft things, and she encouraged him to stroke her hair. When she wanted him to
stop, he broke her neck out of fear. Candy found her and brought George. When
the men found out, Curley went for his shotgun. Carlson went for his Luger, but
it's missing and he assumed Lennie took it. Candy stayed with the body and all
went after Lennie. The last chapter closed the novel as George found Lennie
where he instructed him to go in case trouble arises. While they talked of their
dream, George placed the Luger to the base of Lennie's skull and fires. Everyone
assumed George took the gun from Lennie and shot him. CHAPTER 4 INTERPRETATION
AND ANALYSIS The usual method to determine if a person was mentally retarded was
by measuring their IQ. However, psychologists tried to avoid classifying persons
as retarded on the basis of IQ alone. One method of determining if the person
had the condition mental retardation was by observing their cognitive
functioning. The language behaviors of a mental retardate included immature
speech with misarticulation. The learning of a retarded person was slower among
moderately or mildly retardates. Concerning the memory of a mental retardate,
studies by Spitz (1963) and others had shown that the immediate memory span of
the retardate was shorter than that of normal people. It was shown that mental
retardates' performance was lower than that of a mental-age-matched group in
thinking and reasoning. The performance of the mentally retarded couldn't be
judged without a consideration of the life history of the retarded individual;
because of lifelong experience, he had come to mistrust his own judgement and is
engaged in seeking helpful cues and motivation from the environment. Most
mentally retarded individuals had behavioral disorders such as disturbed social
relationships or aggressive behavior. It was inconclusive to say that Lennie's
language behavior was immature with misarticulation for the reason that all the
characters spoke using slang. In addition, learning was not conclusive either
because this involves IQ, which the researcher couldn't measure from Lennie
Small. However, the researcher could say that Lennie's memory span is shorter
because of the constant reminders George gave him. For instance, in the first
chapter, George reminded Lennie what to do when asked questions by the boss and
Lennie even had to concentrate to remember, and the next chapter showed George
again reminding Lennie what to do if in case he gets into trouble. Lennie was
poor in thinking and reasoning. George did all the thinking for the two of them.
When The Boss questioned them, George answered all of the questions fearing that
if Lennie answered, his dumbness will show. George also described Lennie to Slim
that "He can't think of nothing to do himself " and "He's as dumb
as hell. " Most of the time, Lennie needed helpful cues from George. Like
in the incident wherein the boss questioned him, he went into panic and looked
at George for helpful cues. He also needed motivation from George just to be
able to fight back when Curley attacked him. Most of Lennie's motivation
actually came from George. In one account, George said, "Why he'd do any
damn thing I tol' him. " The behavioral disorder of Lennie was his
aggressive behavior. One obvious incident that displayed this was when he
crushed Curley's hand. Another was when he killed Curley's Wife. CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSION After analyzing the foregoing facts and information, the researcher
of this paper came up with the conclusion that Lennie Small was mentally
retarded based on his cognitive functioning. CHAPTER 6 SUMMARY The researcher
was able to analyze Lennie's psychological state. Also, the researcher gained
very important background of the novel and its author that aided in the
analyzing of the work. Moreover, the researcher had more understanding on mental
retardation and related issues. In the efforts to attain the objectives, the
researcher discovered the childlike qualities of Lennie Small and found them
present in the first three chapters. The aggressive behavior of Lennie was
examined in the 3rd and 5th chapter wherein he caused injuries to others.
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