17 Mar 2013

Exam Questions for Of Mice and Men: Revision Help for GCSE and IGCSE



+ Get all Of Mice and Men Resources and free model essays here

Cruelty Power, Strengths and Weaknesses
Living in a cruel world makes Crooks cruel, and there's no hope for him. How far do you agree? Give evidence.

Do you think Steinbeck believed people are naturally cruel? Think about characters who are (Curley, Carlson, Crooks, Curley's wife) and those who aren't - George (can be cruel sometimes - cruel to be kind) and Lennie (never cruel - deliberately).


In the hard world of Of Mice and Men, everything weak, or soft is doomed to be crushed. Why?

You could consider Candy (old, weak), Candy's dog, (old, weak), Lennie (stupid, weak), the mice, Curley's wife, Curley's hand.* This is highly unlikely to appear on an exam! But it's interesting to think about!


Animal Imagery

Explore how Steinbeck uses animal imagery in the character of Lennie in Of Mice and Men.*

How are animals and animal imagery used to get across the themes in Of Mice and Men?


Why do you think Steinbeck called the novel 'Of Mice and Men'?* Read the answer here.


Hopes and Dreams - the American Dream [get information on social and historical context here, and an essay on dreams here]

Of Mice and Men is all about defeat and despair. How far do you agree? Explain your ideas.

Of Mice and Men is full of characters whose dreams have been crushed. Write about how Steinbeck portrays two of them. Get a model essay on dreams here.



From the AQA Literature Paper:
How does Steinbeck use details in this extract to present the bunkhouse and its inhabitants?
and then Part (b). In the rest of the novel, how does Steinbeck present the lives of ranch workers at that
time? 

This novel is about the death of the American Dream. Do you agree? Give evidence.* Find info on the American Dream here.

Hopes and dreams help people to survive, even if they never become real. How true is this for the characters in Of Mice and Men?


Despair and Loneliness

Of Mice and Men is a dark book, but is ultimately uplifting. How far do you agree? Explain your ideas.

The worst thing in Of Mice and Men is not the hard conditions, but the loneliness. How far do you agree? Give evidence.


All the characters in Of Mice and Men are desperately lonely. How far do you agree? Curley's Wife and Crooks work well for this question.


Of Mice and Men is a tragedy. How far do you agree?*


George and Lennie [get an essay on this here]

What is the relationship of George and Lennie? And why is it important to the novel. Frequently appears on the exam.

Why doesn't George just leave Lennie? Discuss.*


Why do George and Lennie travel together? Discuss.* You may want to use Chapter THREE to help with this.


George needs Lennie as much as Lennie needs George. Discuss.


Lennie is dangerous, and George is partly responsible for the death of Curley's wife. Discuss. *


George could still have his dream once Lennie is dead. Why do you think he's so sad at the end of the novel then? Discuss.*


George helps Lennie only because he feels guilty about the time he nearly drowned him (this is explained in Chapter THREE). How far do you agree? Give evidence.*


Curley's Wife [get essays on this here] Get quotes about Curley's Wife's character here. Social and Historical Context for WOMEN is here.
Curley's Wife isn't a floozy. She's a nice girl. How far do you agree with this view? Give evidence. Get this essay to answer this question.

Curley's Wife is more of a victim than Lennie. Is she innocent or does she bring it on herself and do we blame her? Discuss.


Curley's Wife is the cause of all George and Lennie's problems. How far do you agree? Give evidence.



Setting

The start and the end of Of Mice and Men are set in the same location. How do the similarities and differences bring out the themes of the book?*  Get an essay on Place in Of Mice and Men.

WJEC

Here's an example of the WJEC format as it's a little different to the more standard AQA and OCR style shown below.

[20]
2
SECTION A
1. Of Mice and Men
Answer part (a) and either part (b) or part (c).
You are advised to spend about 20 minutes on part (a), and about 40 minutes on part (b) or part (c).

(a) Read the extract on the opposite page. Then answer the following question:
Look closely at how Candy speaks and behaves here. What does it reveal about his

character? [10]
Either,
(b) How does John Steinbeck create sympathy for Lennie in Of Mice and Men? [20]
Or,
(c) H[20]
2
SECTION A
1. Of Mice and Men
Answer part (a) and either part (b) or part (c).
You are advised to spend about 20 minutes on part (a), and about 40 minutes on part (b) or part (c).

(a) Read the extract on the opposite page. Then answer the following question:
Look closely at how Candy speaks and behaves here. What does it reveal about his

character? [10]
Either,
(b) How does John Steinbeck create sympathy for Lennie in Of Mice and Men? [20]
Or,
(c) How does John Steinbeck present different types of strength and weakness in Of Mice and Men? [20] 




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