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Chapter 1 Journal Response Questions

Directions:   Choose 2 of the questions below and write a response.  Each response needs to be a paragraph in length, or 5 plus sentences.  Remember that a paragraph consists of an opening or introductory sentence, a concluding sentence, and the middles sentences contain the details and proof of your point.  Spelling and grammar count.  Make sure to properly quote material by enclosing excerpts from the text in quotation marks.

1. The bunk-house is a strange mixture of the homely and the bare.  List the good and bad things about the location that emerge through the description.

2. Steinbeck lists many personal items that the men use.  What is the effect of this?  Pick any three of these, and state how each might be a comment on the lives of the men that sleep there.

3. Later in the novel, Candy is one of a group of characters referred to as ‘the weak ones’.  Find three ways in which Steinbeck presents him as physically weak and / or old, and comment on your choice of quotations.

4. “… hell of a nice fella …” Candy goes to a lot of trouble to point out how clean the previous occupant of George’s bunk was.  What does this tell us about Candy, and what is George’s reaction?  Does Candy defend anyone else in the extract, and why?

5. List two ways in which Steinbeck implies that Candy has been at the ranch for a longer time than most of the men who have worked there.

6. Candy refers to Crooks, the black ‘stable buck’ a number of times in the extract.  Although he also calls him a ‘pretty nice fellow’, how do his later comments reveal the treatment of blacks at that time?

7. How does Candy come across throughout this extract?  What are the general characteristics of his speech and mannerisms throughout, and how do they give away his personality?

8. Although Lennie says very little during this episode, Steinbeck makes references to his behaviour.  Comment on this, explaining how it might foreshadow future events in the novel.

9. Curley is described in very physical terms.  Which techniques and word types does Steinbeck use to convey his character to the reader?  Find three examples, and comment on each.

10.There are plenty of moments in the extract where Steinbeck hints at the trouble to come in the rest of the novel.  Identify two or three areas where you think this is the case and comment on how he deals with them.  Why do you think he does this?

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