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Chapter 6 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 middle 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.What do you think is the significance of the book closing as it opens: with Lennie at the pool, having run from an incident?  Are there any key images which tie in with this?

2.  The first six paragraphs contain many images of nature.  Copy and fill in the table below, showing what you think Steinbeck’s purpose is with each image:

The Image: A water snake glided smoothly … the beak swallowed the little snake …’

Significance: Nature is presented as cruel at times – sometimes it is unavoidable that there are victims (Candy’s dog, drowned pups etc.)

3.Many readers find the technique of presenting Lennie with the two visions very strange in such a realistic book.  Explain what you think the significance of each is, and why Steinbeck decided to present each in this way.  Does it work?

4.What do Lennie’s ‘conversations’ with Aunt Clara and the rabbit reveal about his state of mind at this point in the novel?

5.Comment on Steinbeck’s use of adverbs when describing how Lennie speaks.  What do they reveal about him?

6.   Look carefully at the ‘speech’ of Aunt Clara and the rabbit.  In what ways are previous areas of the novel explored in these?  How does the vocabulary and syntax echo other parts, and what is the significance of this?

7.  ‘Ain’t you gonna give me hell?’ Why do you think Lennie  wants  George to do this at this point in the novel? How   does Steinbeck present George when he finally agrees to  do this?

8.Why do you think George talks about the farm as he shoots   Lennie?  How does this conclude the theme of ‘dreams’?

9.  Comment on Slim’s reaction to what George has done. How is this consistent with his character throughout? Link this to the shooting of Candy’s dog.

10.The last lines of the novel are famous. Think of as many reasons as you can for why Steinbeck chooses to end the novel in this way, and why the ending might fit in so well.

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