Of Mice and Men Essay Topics


Writing Prompts

Choose one of the following topics for your essay:


1.    Analyze the theme, the inevitable failure of the American Dream, in Steinbeck’s novel, Of Mice and Men. Analyze the dream of living off the “fatta of the land” and how it influences the characters in the novel (George, Lennie, Candy, Crooks, or Curley’s wife). What does Steinbeck say about the impossibility of the American Dream through these characters? At the same time, what is the power of the dream, even if it is fruitless? Use direct quotations and specific examples to support your views.


2.   Compare and contrast George and Lennie. How are they similar? What are their central differences? How does Steinbeck set them up as foils, being perfectly opposite. What does each gain from the other? Why must Lennie die in the end and why must George do it? What central themes does Steinbeck develop through their comparison? Use direct quotations and specific examples to support your views.




Once you have chosen your essay topic, look at the corresponding number below and follow the directions.


1.    Before you begin writing, get some of your ideas onto paper.  Jot down quick answers to the questions in the writing prompt. Spend a lot of time thinking about how the dream for a better life and its ultimate failure forms a central theme in the novel. You may organize your thoughts in list form or in a cluster (web). Begin looking for quotations and evidence to support your opinions. Write them down. Begin thinking about how to organize your ideas; what should you write about first? Then begin thinking about the best order to present topic. Make an outline and see me for approval or for help.


2.   Make a T chart showing the main differences and similarities between the two. Choose the most important differences and similarities. Write down some ideas about what themes are developed through their comparison. Look at the sample outline and fill in traits and quotations for it.




Due Dates:           

Prewriting: Wednesday 11/7 (by the end of the period)
Of Mice & Men
Exam: Wednesday 11/14
Of Mice & Men
essay (1st draft): Friday 11/9
Of Mice & Men
essay (2nd draft): Tuesday 11/13
Of Mice & Men
essay (final draft):