Of Mice and Men
Mini Essay
LESSON AIMS
• To identify key words from the essay
question
• To learn how to use the essay question to
plan your response.
Essay Question
• Choose a novel or a short story or a piece
of non-fiction in which there is a person
towards whom you feel a strong emotion
such as sympathy or hatred or admiration.
• Say how you feel about the person, and
explain why you feel this way.
Essay Question
• Choose a novel or a short story or a piece
of non-fiction in which there is a person
towards whom you feel a strong
emotion such as sympathy or hatred or
admiration.
• explain why you feel this way.
Using the Essay Question
• Choose a novel or a short
story or a piece of non-fiction
in which there is a person
towards whom you feel a
strong emotion such as
sympathy or hatred or
admiration.
• Explain why you feel this way.
The word sympathy in essay
questions does not just mean you feel
sorry for someone.
It can also mean that you find them
likeable or that you admire their
actions or attitudes.
• “Of Mice and Men”
• George
• We feel sympathy for him
• He has to look after
Lennie who has learning
difficulties.
• Kind to Lennie and cares
for him
CRITICAL ESSAY STRUCTURE
• Critical essays always
have the same structure.
(Essentially a beginning,
a middle and an end).
• Introduction
• 3-5 Key points
• Conclusion
• However!!!
This is a mini
essay so we
will only have
2 key points!!
• Even better –
I’ve done the
first point for
you!!!
Key Points – For this essay our key points
will be reasons we feel sympathy for George.
1. Firstly, the reader would feel sympathy
for George because looking after Lennie
is frustrating and it causes him problems.
2. Additionally, Steinbeck encourages the
reader to feel sympathy for George
because he is kind to Lennie despite the
difficulties he causes and feels guilty
when he upsets him.
Introduction – Start with T.A.R.T.S
• Title
• Author
• Reference to Essay
Question
• Task Overview
• Summary of Plot
(Must be brief and
mention theme)
• Of Mice and Men
• John Steinbeck
• Novel in which there is a
character that I feel
sympathy for.
• I feel sympathy for
George because…
• Of Mice and Men is
about… (no more than 3
lines)
Exemplar Introduction
• “Of Mice and Men” written by John Steinbeck is a novel
in which there is a character that I feel great sympathy
for. George Milton is an itinerant worker in California
during the Great depression and I feel extremely
sympathetic for him because he has to look after Lennie
who is misunderstood because he has severe learning
difficulties but despite the problems this causes him, he
is kind and caring towards Lennie. “Of Mice and Men” is
about two men who travel together looking for work and
through George and Lennie (as well as the other
characters that we meet in and about the ranch)
Steinbeck explores the theme of Loneliness and the
need to have a dream.
Learning Intentions
• To learn how to structure a key point of a
critical essay
• To learn how to write topic sentences that
refer to the essay question
Your essay will have three main sections. (Don’t worry this is only a
mini essay and you are only required to write one point!!!) You will use
the PEAR formula for each section.
• POINT Topic sentence with an opener/linking word. It tells the
examiner what your paragraph is going to be about.
• EVIDENCE You must remember to explain the context (what is
happening in the part of the story from which you have taken
your quotation or your example) as well as write down your
example or quotation.
• ANALYSIS Explain how the quotation supports the point you
are making (e.g what the quotation or example tells you about
difficulties George faces or how George is feeling) and/or what it
tells us about the theme of the text.
• RESPONSE Explain how your evidence RESPONDS to the
question. For example, why do you feel sympathy for George
here.
Writing Topic Sentences (Points)
•
Topic Sentences are very important
because:
1. They make it clear what your point is
going to be about.
2. They help you to respond to the question
in a relevant way.
3. They help you have a line of argument
through your essay.
Writing Effective Topic Sentences
(Points)
1. Start with a link word/opener.
2. Make it clear what point you are making.
3. Refer (include words from) the essay
question.
Key Point 1
1. Firstly, the reader would feel sympathy
for George because looking after Lennie
is frustrating and it causes him problems.
Exemplar Key Point Using P.E.A.R
Firstly, the reader would feel sympathy for George because looking after Lennie is frustrating and it causes him
problems. This can be seen early in the first section of the novella when Lennie and George are travelling to the
farm that they are due to start work on and enter a clearing where Lennie starts to drink from a pond:
“Lennie!” he said sharply. “Lennie, for God sakes don’t drink so much.”
George started to warn Lennie about the water because Lennie had made himself sick from drinking water that was
unclean before. The fact that Lennie doesn’t pay heed to George’s warning and goes ahead and drinks from the
pond like an animal would explain to the reader that Lennie doesn’t always listen to George’s instructions.
Also, Lennie has clearly not learned a lesson from his previous experience and this demonstrates his child-like
nature and how George’s attempts to educate Lennie are ultimately futile. Later in the first section, the reader can
also see why George would be frustrated by having to look after Lennie when he has to take a dead mouse from
him:
“
George’s hand remained outstretched imperiously. Slowly, like a terrier who doesn’t want to bring a ball back to its
master, Lennie approached, drew back, approached again.”
Lennie has no understanding of why he shouldn’t have the dead mouse; he doesn’t know that George takes it from
him because it is unhygienic and could spread disease. Steinbeck illustrates how George has to constantly be like
a parent to Lennie because Lennie is vulnerable and can not look after himself. I feel sympathy for George
because it must be very frustrating to have to take full responsibility for Lennie, who is a grown man, and
particularly because Lennie is incapable of following George’s instructions or learning from his experiences.
Exemplar Key Point Using P.E.A.R
Firstly, the reader would feel sympathy for George because looking after Lennie is frustrating and it causes him
problems. This can be seen early in the first section of the novella when Lennie and George are travelling to the
farm that they are due to start work on and enter a clearing where Lennie starts to drink from a pond:
“Lennie!” he said sharply. “Lennie, for God sakes don’t drink so much.”
George started to warn Lennie about the water because Lennie had made himself sick from drinking water that
was unclean before. The fact that Lennie doesn’t pay heed to George’s warning and goes ahead and drinks from
the pond like an animal would explain to the reader that Lennie doesn’t always listen to George’s instructions.
Also, Lennie has clearly not learned a lesson from his previous experience and this demonstrates his child-like
nature and how George’s attempts to educate Lennie are ultimately futile. Later in the first section, the reader can
also see why George would be frustrated by having to look after Lennie when he has to take a dead mouse from
him:
“George’s hand remained outstretched imperiously. Slowly, like a terrier who doesn’t want to bring a ball back to its
master, Lennie approached, drew back, approached again.”
Lennie has no understanding of why he shouldn’t have the dead mouse; he doesn’t know that George takes it from
him because it is unhygienic and and could spread disease. Steinbeck illustrates how George has to constantly be
like a parent to Lennie because Lennie is vulnerable and can not look after himself. I feel sympathy for George
because it must be very frustrating to have to take full responsibility for Lennie, who is a grown man, and
particularly because Lennie is incapable of following George’s instructions or learning from his experiences.
Key Point 2 – Your Turn
• P Write a topic sentence with an opener which states
that you feel sympathetic for George because, despite
the difficulties, George is kind and cares for Lennie. He
protects Lennie against other people.
• E Give an example of a time when George shows that
he cares about Lennie. Explain what is happening at the
time, then give a quotation to prove your point.
• A Explain how this example shows how George feels
about Lennie.
(For a more developed point, you could give another
example and analyse this before moving on to your
response as I have done in the exemplar)
• R Explain why this makes you feel sympathetic
towards George. (Again, try to give more than one
reason.)