Crooks possessed several pairs of shoes, a pair of rubber boots, a big alarm clock
and a single-barreled shotgun. And he h...
• Part (a)
• In this passage, how does Steinbeck present
Crooks? Refer closely to the passage in
• your answer.
• and then...
Of Mice and Men: John Steinbeck
It was a pleasing series with this text. Previous issues relating to weaker context
sectio...
There were a few misplaced comments on the interior decor
where students judged the bunkhouse by 21st century
standards e....
Band
AO4 AO2
1 perceptive exploration and critical
evaluation of a wide range of links
between texts and their contexts
an...
Answering the Passage Based Question
Notes:
• Look at the key adjectives in the question and work with
quotations that wil...
Highlight key words from the question
Passage-based question
IMPORTANT SIGNIFICANT REVEALING
POWERFUL HORRIFYING
MOVING VI...
Annotate the passage
Passage-based question
You are looking for examples of:
LANGUAGE:
• Movement
• How they relate to oth...
Writing your Response
Passage-based question
INTRODUCTION:
An overview which sets the passage in context and summarises th...
Both men glanced up, for the rectangle of sunshine in the doorway was cut off. A
girl was standing there looking in. She h...
Part (a)
In this passage, what methods does Steinbeck use
to present Curley’s wife and the
attitudes of others to her? Ref...
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Of Mice and Men - Exam preparation

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Of Mice and Men - Exam preparation

  1. 1. Crooks possessed several pairs of shoes, a pair of rubber boots, a big alarm clock and a single-barreled shotgun. And he had books, too; a tattered dictionary and a mauled copy of the California civil code for 1905. There were battered magazines and a few dirty books on a special shelf over his bunk. A pair of large gold-rimmed spectacles hung from a nail on the wall above his bed. This room was swept and fairly neat, for Crooks was a proud, aloof man. He kept his distance and demanded that other people kept theirs. His body was bent over to the left by his crooked spine, and his eyes lay deep in his head, and because of their depth seemed to glitter with intensity. His lean face was lined with deep black wrinkles, and he had thin, pain-tightened lips which were lighter than his face. It was Saturday night. Through the open door that led into the barn came the sound of moving horses, of feet stirring, of teeth champing on hay, of the rattle of halter chains. In the stable buck’s room a small electric globe threw a meagre yellow light. Crooks sat on his bunk. His shirt was out of his jeans in back. In one hand he held a bottle of liniment, and with the other he rubbed his spine. Now and then he poured a few drops of the liniment into his pink-palmed hand and reached up under his shirt to rub again. He flexed his muscles against his back and shivered. Noiselessly Lennie appeared in the open doorway and stood there looking in, his big shoulders nearly filling the opening. For a moment Crooks did not see him, but on raising his eyes he stiffened and a scowl came on his face. His hand came out from under his shirt. Lennie smiled helplessly in an attempt to make friends. Crooks said sharply, ‘You got no right to come in my room. This here’s my room. Nobody got any right in here but me.
  2. 2. • Part (a) • In this passage, how does Steinbeck present Crooks? Refer closely to the passage in • your answer. • and then Part (b) • In the rest of the novel how does Steinbeck use Crooks to present attitudes to black • people at the time the novel is set? (30 marks) • SPaG: (4 marks)
  3. 3. Of Mice and Men: John Steinbeck It was a pleasing series with this text. Previous issues relating to weaker context sections appear to have diminished and many students produced some truly superb responses to context. The question - particularly part 'a' - was doable by all who attempted it. Most students, even the weaker students seemed to be able to comment on the description of the bunkhouse and support their answers with well-chosen examples; this is interesting as it involved close analysis of the extract, as per other exam series, yet the students seemed more able to pick out key words and ideas. Many students were able to comment on Steinbeck's use of language in the extract from the text and relate that to the lives of the men. Popular observations were that these men travelled, didn't have much in the way of belongings - 'all their things fitted on a little shelf' and the conditions were cramped and lacked comfort and hygiene. However, the surprise was the variety of attitudes to the bunk house e.g. some students referring to the bunkhouse as a horrible prison, but others seeing it as a cosy place of safety.
  4. 4. There were a few misplaced comments on the interior decor where students judged the bunkhouse by 21st century standards e.g. they didn't have the money to put up some decent shelving units or get some colour on the walls. In part (b) the stronger students tended to pick up on Steinbeck's method again, and were able to explain, in some detail and with strong support from other parts of the text, how he used characters such as Crooks and Curley's wife to show how black people / women were treated at the time. They were also able to discuss how he used the concept of „The American Dream‟ in relation to the question. However, the weaker students tended to repeat comments on the Living conditions rather than extending into other ideas, such as racism, sexism etc
  5. 5. Band AO4 AO2 1 perceptive exploration and critical evaluation of a wide range of links between texts and their contexts and/or the significance of texts to readers in different contexts sensitive understanding of the significance and effects of writers’ choices of language, structure and form •text is legible •spelling, punctuation and grammar are accurate and assured •meaning is very clearly communicated 2 thoughtful exploration and evaluation of a range of links between texts and their contexts and/or the significance of texts to readers in different contexts clear, critical understanding of the effects of writers’ choices of language, structure and form •text is legible •spelling, punctuation and grammar are accurate •meaning is very clearly communicated 3 some attempt to explore and explain links between texts and their contexts and/or the significance of texts to their readers good overall understanding that writers’ choices of language, structure and form contribute to meaning/effect •text is legible •spelling, punctuation and grammar are mainly accurate •meaning is clearly communicated 4 some understanding of links between texts and their contexts and/or the significance of texts to their readers understanding of some features of language, structure and/or form •text is legible •some errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar •meaning is clearly communicated for most of the answer Below 4 some straightforward comments on links between texts and their contexts and/or the significance of texts to their readers a little response to features of language, structure and/or form •text is mostly legible •frequent errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar •communication of meaning is sometimes hindered Prose from Different Cultures Of Mice and Men A663 (the exam)
  6. 6. Answering the Passage Based Question Notes: • Look at the key adjectives in the question and work with quotations that will suggest this is a powerful and/or significant moment in the novel. • Look to comment upon at least 5 good quotations which will allow you to answer the question. • The examiner will be expecting you to comment on contexts (AO4). These may include: working in America 1930, “rights” of migrant workers (or lack of them), threat of being fired (canned) for no good reason, the influence these types of texts have had on workers’ rights, Curley’s position on ranch and his ability to threaten workers because of who he is, Lennie’s position within society, your thoughts about how hard life was for these workers and how this knowledge has impacted upon you and your ideas of what it was like in 1930s, etc.
  7. 7. Highlight key words from the question Passage-based question IMPORTANT SIGNIFICANT REVEALING POWERFUL HORRIFYING MOVING VIVID DISTURBING SHOCKING You need to know: • What the key adjectives mean • How they can be interpreted For Example: MOVING • Arousing or touching the emotions. What emotions? • Making a strong or vivid impression – impressive. TASK: Choose 2 of the KEY ADJECTIVES from the list. • What do the key adjectives mean? • How can they be interpreted?
  8. 8. Annotate the passage Passage-based question You are looking for examples of: LANGUAGE: • Movement • How they relate to other characters/how other characters view them • The setting in which the character is seen • Physical appearance STRUCTURE: • How a particular atmosphere (tension) is built up across a scene • Contrast • Dramatic irony • The importance of the scene in relation to the rest of the story e.g. The circular narrative Remember you must link to the context of the novel at least 2-3 points in your answer The last stage of your planning is to organise your annotations of the passage into the paragraphs/sections of your response.
  9. 9. Writing your Response Passage-based question INTRODUCTION: An overview which sets the passage in context and summarises the author’s overall purpose. WRITING A PARAGRAPH: Mention a KEY WORD (particularly the KEY ADJECTIVE) from the question in every paragraph. Provide EVIDENCE FROM THE TEXT for everything you say. Focus on THE AUTHOR’S PURPOSE and the WAYS this is achieved. Try to make a link with the an aspect(s) of the novel’s context. Aim to write between 5-6 paragraphs: •Introduction •3/4 developed sections •Conclusion
  10. 10. Both men glanced up, for the rectangle of sunshine in the doorway was cut off. A girl was standing there looking in. She had full, rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes, heavily made up. Her fi ngernails were red. Her hair hung in little rolled clusters, like sausages. She wore a cotton house dress and red mules, on the insteps of which were little bouquets of red ostrich feathers. ‘I’m lookin’ for Curley,’ she said. Her voice had a nasal, brittle quality. George looked away from her and then back. ‘He was in here a minute ago, but he went.’ ‘Oh!’ She put her hands behind her back and leaned against the door frame so that her body was thrown forward. ‘You’re the new fellas that just come, ain’t ya?’ ‘Yeah.’ Lennie’s eyes moved down over her body, and though she did not seem to be looking at Lennie she bridled a little. She looked at her fi ngernails. ‘Sometimes Curley’s in here,’ she explained. George said brusquely, ‘Well he ain’t now.’ ‘If he ain’t, I guess I better look some place else,’ she said playfully. Lennie watched her, fascinated. George said, ‘If I see him, I’ll pass the word you was looking for him.’ She smiled archly and twitched her body. ‘Nobody can’t blame a person for lookin’,’ she said. There were footsteps behind her, going by. She turned her head. ‘Hi, Slim,’ she said. Slim’s voice came through the door, ‘Hi, good-lookin’.’ ‘I’m tryin’ to fi nd Curley, Slim.’ ‘Well, you ain’t tryin’ very hard. I seen him goin’ in your house.’ She was suddenly apprehensive. ‘Bye, boys,’ she called into the bunk house, and she hurried away. George looked around at Lennie. ‘Jesus, what a tramp,’ he said. ‘So that’s what Curley picks for a wife.’
  11. 11. Part (a) In this passage, what methods does Steinbeck use to present Curley’s wife and the attitudes of others to her? Refer closely to the passage in your answer. and then Part (b) How does Steinbeck present attitudes to women in the society in which the novel is set? (30 marks) June 2012

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