Of Mice and Men Writing Assignment

OF MICE AND MEN                                                                                      English 9

Writing Assignment                                                                                           Mr. Castellano


     Your writing assignment for Of Mice and Men will have two parts.  One will be of a more traditional nature in which you explain and explore an idea fully; the other will be more like writing a short story (somewhat like another personal narrative).  The two parts will be inter-connected in that part one will explain what you are doing in part two and why.  I believe and hope this assignment will give you an opportunity to show me what you understand about the novel and the importance of point of view; you will also be able to use your creative writing skills.  Although the two parts are inter-connected, you will get a separate grade for each part: 50 points each, for a total of 100 points.  This is a chance for you to show me some talents you have not yet had a chance to demonstrate.  Have fun with it.  Do your best.

PART ONE:  When we talked about the short stories, we talked a lot about point of view and how it can make an important impact on us as readers.  Think about the point of view Steinbeck uses in Of Mice and Men.  (Remember: it’s third person, mostly limited.)  Change the point of view to first person.  You can pick any character, even someone who dies (like Curley’s wife or Lennie).   How would the novel be different if that character were the narrator?  What might be gained and lost through such a narration?  What effect would that point of view have on you as a reader?  Think of other concerns that a first person point of view might raise.  Write one good, thoughtful paragraph, with a good topic sentence, about how the novel would be changed and different if the character you chose were the narrator.  Pick anyone you want: be imaginative.  This part of the assignment should be about 2-3 sides, double-spaced, handwritten, or 1-1 ½  pages, typed, double-spaced.

PART TWO:  Now pick a scene or, better yet, part of a scene and write the narration from the point of view you discussed in Part One.  For example, if you discussed how the novel would be different if George were the narrator, you might want to have him narrate the last scene when he kills Lennie.  Or you could have Lennie narrate the scene when he kills Curley’s wife.  Your ability to write a good narration from your character’s point of view will influence the character you pick for Part One of the assignment.  Remember to stay in character: in other words, now you are not writing the way you write but writing the way this character would.  Keep in mind diction and perspective.  This part (I hope) should be fun and challenging.  Please do not feel you have to narrate the entire scene.  Certainly don’t make it just dialogue.  I want you to show me how your character would do the narrating of the scene: again, what would he or she include and leave out that Steinbeck’s narrator does and does not.  I think you can show me what you are thinking in 3-4 sides, double-spaced, handwritten, or 1-2 pages typed, double-spaced.  Use your imagination and creativity.

This assignment is due