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Of Mice And Men Detail Analysis Essay, Research Paper

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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