Of Mice and Men controlled assessment:

Explore the ways thwarted dreams and aspirations is developed in Of Mice and Men. ‘The ideal by which equality of opportunity is available to any American, allowing the highest aspirations and goals to be achieved.’ This is the American dream, it describes the aspirations of most American citizens. Even though the American dream is strongly cemented into the hearts of their Society, during the great depression of 1937, it began to fade and break down due to the lack of trust between individuals. The author John Steinbeck’s ideas are woven into the text through the characters language and actions. They demonstrate the destruction of dreams and the emotionless minds of the individuals with their dreams previously broken.

The idea that the American dream is unobtainable was very common during the Great Depression, but George and Lennie still securely held on to the idea that their dream was achievable as they had each other. “We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us.” This demonstrates that their relationship is the predominant reason for their chance of achieving the unachievable. Their relationship is held together by this story and their shared dream, this is common in any relationship as relations share a future aspiration or past story to cement the bond between two individuals. George repetitively attempts to reassure Lennie with their story, but the repetitiveness of their craving for the story begins to demonstrate the reassuring affect it has. Due to the detail given when the story is expressed, the story begins to become less realistic and more of a calming lullaby. ‘George’s voice became deeper. He repeated his words rhythmically as though he had said them many times before’, John Steinbeck portrays this effect through the language, expresses the tone of the voice is also an aspect which contributes to the calming process to Lennie.

During the ‘Great Depression’ relationships were rare as people commonly isolated themselves to avoid a friendship or simply interaction as people’s outlook on relations were extremely narrow. As people scorn dreams as unrealistic, therefore they are protecting themselves from the idea of failure. ‘They come, an’ they quit an’ go on; an’ every damn one of ‘ems got a little piece of land in his head. An’ never a god damn one of ‘em ever gets it’. This directly demonstrates the negative attitude of those stubborn to pursue their dream due to the element to failure overthrowing their willingness to do so. The language used such as an’ shows the accent of the character but also their status. It expresses that the character is and the end of the chain. As well as that the tone of the quote is stern as it sharply addresses his opinion with few words. Crooks uses energetic colloquial language to express his opinion emotionally, it is energetic as he has an emotional mechanism defending himself against the possibility of having a dream. Due to his emotional opinion he condemns anyone striving to achieve a dream, ‘God damn’ is the condemnation used, which portrays a strong opposing opinion to the any individuals pursuing their dream. Steinbeck uses Crooks as a character to rebel against the possibility of having a dream, as he refers to ‘They’, not including himself that ‘nuts’ category. Then though Crooks is openly so rebellious against the fact the people have dreams and some choose to pursue them, his emotional barrier begins to break down when his own American dream becomes apparent. ‘I ain’t so crippled I can’t work like a son-of-a-bitch if I want to’. This shows that Crooks began to buy into the fact that their dream is actually obtainable. Therefore it shows even those too stubborn to the fact that dreams cannot be achieved, have dreams too but are just over conscious of the possibility of failure. Steinbeck uses Crooks to show everyone has a dream and everyone wants to be a success and achieve the American dream, yet at that time is faded due to the depression and the relationships between people being so non-existent.

The language is a major tool used by John Steinbeck to portray his thoughts and emotions through characters. ‘But not us and why? Because I’ve got you to look after me, an’ that’s why’. This is a quote from George attempting to reassure Lennie, by confirming they have each other and that’s all they need to be happy and safe. There is a rhetorical question used, this is to ask the question to Lennie but then immediately after he answers his own question, therefore is a question and an answer in just one sentence. This has a reassuring affect that they defiantly have each other and they will achieve their dream because of that. As well as assuring Lennie, George actually reassures himself too. As well as the reassuring affect it has, it is also foreshadowing due to the fact that it end with Lennie being killed by George which is ironic as they was always meant to comfort and protect each other. Colloquial language indicates an intimate relationship or friendship, therefore ‘An’ that’s why’ expresses the bond between the pair and indicates a universal understanding to the language that they use. This shows their friendship status is strong, and they feel comfortable to adapt their language and still the other will understand.

Once the reality of their dream is revealed, the dreams of others begin to be expressed. Even Curley’s wife begins to reveal that she has a dream and she thought that she would achieve it but then her dream was broken and that is the failure, which is the predominant reason people were afraid to pursue their dreams. ‘He said he was gonna put me in the movies. Says I was a natural’, this reveals Curley’s wives dream to be an actor. This shows that once a dream is being pursued, it encourages others to reveal, even pursue theirs too. Every character which was so negative had a dream, or still has one, but the aspect of failure became too much and they began angry at anyone near to achieving theirs, therefore expresses a clear jealous trait. The language use is sharp as Curley’s wife is keen to express her dream and she is exited to finally tell people with the common outlook on dreams. Steinbeck uses these character to also portray the effect that thwarted dreams and aspirations are constant throughout the novella, and that all the characters are subject to failure that that is the main reason for the negative and heartless attitude of the country during the depression, not just at the ranch.

‘Now what the hell ya suppose is eatin’ them two guys?’ this shows the emotionless response when people’s dreams are broken and that it is so common that they expected such as a poor outcome. Thwarted dreams and aspirations are the main reason Steinbeck begin his explorations to uncover the true outlook of people during the 1937 Great depression, and he portrayed his opinion and findings through the language and actions of the characters, by showing a rebellious attitude. Then once a dream is revealed, express everyone has a dream, only to break the dream and show the reason why everyone is so heartless is because of the thwarted dreams. John Steinbeck portrays the society as a vicious cycle which will only be broken when a dream is finally achieved.

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Story old by George- Page 15 Crooks stating his realistic view- Page 84 Crooks begins to buy into the dream- Page 86 After buying into the offer, he retracts his offer and shuts down- Page 94

How have extremes of emotion expressed in Titus Andronicus and selected WW1 poetry been effectively created by the writers’ craft and performance of the drama text on stage, on screen and in the classroom? Extremes of emotions can have a significant effect on people, as the action of one can result in a retaliation or thought of another which may be extreme. Extremes of emotions can be negative as they may provoke a dismissed or inappropriate though or action, such as a revengeful action. Both the play ‘Titus Andronicus’ and the poetry selected involve characters under the influence of extreme emotions. Both use language devices and techniques which effect the interpretation and influence it has on the reader, or viewer in the case of a performance. These techniques build to the emotionally representation of each characters persona. Titus Andronicus is a play written by William Shakespeare in 1593, as one of his first published plays. The play focuses and has a high concentration of the emotion anger, therefore socially classed as one of his most brutal plays. It is full of extreme emotions which are portrayed by the actions and language expressed. The poetry written by Wilfred Owen and Seigfried Sassoon during World War 1, is poetry expressing their extreme feelings towards war, which are both negative. These extremely negative views include the reality of the occurrences that the soldiers face, whilst being so naive on the base reason they are involved. The same intentions of emotions are present in both the play and the poetry, anger and revengeful actions. Iambic pentameter, this is a language device which involves a rhythmic pattern, it is built up of 5 ‘iambs’, this adds to the fluency of the characters speak or soliloquy, therefore becomes easier to read, speak and listen to. ‘Receive my tears and seem to weep with me And were they but attired in graves weeds’ This is a quote from Titus Andronicus where the Iambic pentameter is present, the first line flows well and has a consistent use of the Iambic pentameter, but then begins to break down, as in the second line it is missing a final syllable, this is called a ‘weak foot’ or a feminine ending’. This shows that the fluency of Titus Andronicus’ soliloquy has been broken, this is due to the extreme actions of his surrounding characters upon him, such as Tamora killing his two sons. Due to the actions of the characters around him Titus Andronicus has

An emotion present in both texts and the play is raw anger as actions in the play and text of Titus Andronicus are ones that force the character to act and react with these emotions enforced upon them, as well as Titus Andronicus the poem also expresses anger towards the actions of the innocent soldiers, yet the raw anger is more withheld and disguised by fear for them. The anger is not directed at the characters,bathe soldiers, but the naiveness of them to willingly step into war, with the guarantee of dying.

“Not I, till I have sheath’d My rapier in his bosom, and withal”

This is a quote from an argument between two brothers, they are arguing to express their love towards


Ruminating on his mistress’ new found glory, Aaron resolves to cuckold Satuninus and join Tamora in undermining Satuninus’ rule and Rome’s peace and order when he comes upon Tamora’s sons Demetrius and Chiron who are in the midst of a quarrel over Lavinia. Aaron censures them for presuming to openly quarrel for the favors of a married, Roman, royal princess with impunity. However Demetrius and Chiron’s ardor is such that they draw swords against one another for the chance to cuckold Bassianus. Impressed, Aaron advises Demetrius and Chiron how they may both satisfy their lusts without raising suspicions of their guilt. Acknowledging the wicked cleverness of Aaron’s scheme, the brothers decide to heed Aaron’s advise and cooperate to their mutual benefit.


Having promised the Emperor to host a hunting excursion, Titus, with his brother Marcus and his three sons Lucius, Quintus, and Martius, arrives at the royal residence to awake the royal household. Anon, Titus and his party are joined by Saturninus, Tamora, Bassanius, Lavinia, Chiron, and Demetrius. They exchange greetings by and by the parties set off for their hunting excursion.


Aaron the Moor plants a bag of gold behind a tree which gold is to serve a stratagem when Tamora comes upon him. She is incredulous that he is so grim and deadly serious what with the happy surroundings—the birds, the trees, and the sunshine—which ought to be a lovely backdrop to their secret romance. Aaron attributes his deadly seriousness to vengeance on behalf of Tamora—vengeance which will shortly end Bassianus’ life and render Lavinia speechless and ravished. To that end, Aaron hands Tamora a letter, which she is to give Saturninus, and instructs her to be cross with Bassianus who they presently espy approaching them with Lavinia at his side. Tamora does as Aaron instructs and presently chides Bassianus for intruding on her privacy. Offended, Bassianus accuses Tamora of dishonoring his brother by consorting with Aaron the Moor. The accusation is seconded by Lavinia. Anon, as per Aaron’s machination, Demetrius and Chiron arrive on the scene to behold their mother in a state of high dudgeon on account of Bassanius and Lavinia. Indeed, Tamora orders her sons to avenge her and they’re more than happy to oblige, stabbing and killing Bassanius. As for Lavinia, Tamora herself will dispatch, but as she tries to she is dissuaded by Demetrius and Chiron who have other plans. Realizing that her sons mean to ravish Lavinia, Tamora counsels them to make sure that when the deed is done Lavinia is incapable of putting the blame on them. Lavinia pleads Tamora that she be murdered outright and be spared the ravishment, but to no avail. After they throw Bassianus’ slain body into a predetermined pit as per Aaron’s instructions, the brothers lead Lavinia away to have their way with her.

Meanwhile, Aaron leads Titus’ sons Martius and Quintus to a pit where according to Aaron a desired game animal has been espied sleeping. Though he can’t say why, Quintus feels uneasy. His worries prove prophetic when simultaneously Martius falls into the pit and Aaron vanishes. Unable to help his brother out of the pit (wherein lies the slain body of Bassanius) Quintus jumps into the pit to join and comfort his brother. Anon, led by Aaron, Saturninus arrives at the scene only to behold his brother’s slain body and his brother’s supposed murderers Martius and Quintus. The supposition becomes a guilty verdict beyond a reasonable doubt when Aaron produces a bag of gold behind a nearby tree on the heels of Tamora arriving on the scene to hand Saturninus a stray letter that speaks of a conspiracy to kill Bassianus for gold. Presently, Titus, who had arrived on the scene, with Tamora, begs Saturninus to free his sons as he would post their bail and as he would personally see to it that his sons will formally answer their charge with their life if need be. Alas, Titus’ petition is for naught as Saturninus has made up his mind that Martius and Quintus are guilty. Tamora urges Titus to take heart as she will speak on his behalf.


Having lopped off Lavinia’s hands and tongue after ravishing her, Demetrius and Chiron leave Lavinia to her devices, smugly confident that their heinous deeds will go undiscovered. By and by, Marcus Andronicus discovers his niece and the gruesome state she’s in. Railing against the anonymous villain who has rendered her thus, he escorts Lavinia home where she may yet find solace though the chances are that even at home solace will prove elusive.


With folded arms. This poor right hand of mine Is left to tyrannize upon my breast, Who, when my heart, all mad with misery, Beats in this hollow prison of my flesh, Then thus I thump it down. To Lavinia. Thou map of woe, that thus dost talk in signs! When thy poor heart beats with outrageous beating, Thou canst not strike it thus to make it still. Wound it with sighing, girl, kill it with groans; Or get some little knife between thy teeth, And just against thy heart make thou a hole, That all the tears that thy poor eyes let fall May run into that sink, and soaking in, Drown the lamenting fool in sea-salt tears.

-“Mad with misery” alliteration to exaggerate the stage beyond sadness, the reality of Titus forcing feelings never to occur. – Personification of the imprisoned, hollow (empty of feelings) body. – His heart symbolises his feelings. – “Prison on my flesh”

Ruminating on his mistress’ new found glory, Aaron resolves to cuckold Satuninus and join Tamora in undermining Satuninus’ rule and Rome’s peace and order when he comes upon Tamora’s sons Demetrius and Chiron who are in the midst of a quarrel over Lavinia. Aaron censures them for presuming to openly quarrel for the favors of a married, Roman, royal princess with impunity. However Demetrius and Chiron’s ardor is such that they draw swords against one another for the chance to cuckold Bassianus. Impressed, Aaron advises Demetrius and Chiron how they may both satisfy their lusts without raising suspicions of their guilt. Acknowledging the wicked cleverness of Aaron’s scheme, the brothers decide to heed Aaron’s advise and cooperate to their mutual benefit.

‘Meanwhile, sir, with the little skill I have, Full well shalt thou perceive how much I dare.’

Youngling, learn thou to make some meaner choice: Lavinia is thine elder brother’s hope.’

‘Chiron, thy years want wit, thy wit wants edge, And manners, to intrude where I am graced; And may, for aught thou know’st, affected be.’

Not I, till I have sheathed My rapier in his bosom and withal Thrust these reproachful speeches down his throat That he hath breathed in my dishonour here.’

‘Then, Aaron, arm thy heart, and fit thy thoughts, To mount aloft with thy imperial mistress’ Love, Arron’s motive was for his emotional attachment towards Tamora to be accepted and openly welcomed. This is a worth while motive for Aaron, as Tamora is the queen therefore has to power to make decisions out of the range of others. If Aaron builds a close relationship with Tamora he will be able to manipulate her into making decisions in his own interest. This may be his motive but it is unknown what his real, serious motives were, all predictions are just hypothetical.

Now climbeth Tamora Olympus’ top, Safe out of fortune’s shot, and sits aloft, Secure of thunder’s crack or lightning flash, Advanc’d above pale envy’s threat’ning reach. As when the golden sun salutes the morn, And, having gilt the ocean with his beams, Gallops the zodiac in his glistering coach, And overlooks the highest-peering hills: So Tamora. Upon her wit doth earthly honor wait, And virtue stoops and trembles at her frown; Then, Aaron, arm thy heart, and fit thy thoughts, To mount aloft with thy imperial mistress, And mount her pitch, whom thou in triumph long Hast prisoner held, fett’red in amorous chains, And faster bound to Aaron’s charming eyes Than is Prometheus tied to Caucasus. Away with slavish weeds and servile thoughts! I will be bright, and shine in pearl and gold, To wait upon this new-made emperess. To wait, said I? To wanton with this queen, This goddess, this Semiramis, this nymph, This siren that will charm Rome’s Saturnine, And see his shipwrack and his commonweal’s. Hollo, what storm is this?


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