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How is anger demonstrated in Chapters 5 in Of Mice and Men?

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brandih | eNotes Employee

Posted February 4, 2013 at 7:04 PM via web

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How is anger demonstrated in Chapters 5 in Of Mice and Men?

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 4, 2013 at 8:16 PM (Answer #1)

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An example of anger from chapter 5 is when Lennie is angry at the puppy he killed.

When Lennie accidentally kills the puppy, he gets angry at it.

Suddenly his anger arose. "God damn you," he cried. "Why do you got to get killed? You ain't so little as mice." He picked up the pup and hurled it from him. He turned his back on it. (ch 5)

The anger he demonstrates is really anger at himself.  It is not the puppy’s fault it died.  The puppy died because Lennie was too strong for it, and he accidentally killed it when stroking it.  Lennie is afraid that he will not be able to tend the rabbits because he has demonstrated that he cannot help himself.

Anger is an unexpected reaction to the puppy’s death, and it foreshadow’s Lennie’s destruction.  He is too dangerous, and cannot control his danger.  As a result, he will soon get into even bigger trouble when he accidentally kills Curley’s wife.  Lennie’s strength is his biggest weakness.  He is vulnerable because he can’t have what he wants most of all, which is to be able to enjoy stroking the soft fur of the rabbits at his own ranch.

 

 

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mcfox1948 | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted February 9, 2013 at 7:02 PM (Answer #2)

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The whole book is full of anger and angry people. In chapter 5 specifically, Lennie is angry with the puppy for for dying. He "loved it to death", took it from its mother too soon, and petted it too hard. When the puppy "revolts" when it tries to defend itself:"made like it was gonna bite me", Lennie responds "made like I was gonna smack it...and I done it." Lennie becomes angry with Curley's wife for screaming when Lennie latches on to her hair, and accidentally kills her in his attempt to quiet her screams. George is angry at himself; he takes responsibility for Lennie, and blames himself. Candy is angry because the dream they shared has died with Curley's wife because George then understands that's all it was: a dream. In this grim reality, there is no place for flights of fancy and dreaming about what is not likely to become true. Curley's angry because anger defines Curley; it is the one emotion he can accurately feel and respond to because kindness and empathy are not a part of his being. The men in general become angry, and become an example of mass hysteria when they form a posse.

Anger is usually a result of fear. George was often angry because he and Lennie could not keep a job, much less save any money. Candy is afraid of being turned out and having no where to go. Curley is angry because he is emotionally weak and unsure of himself, so his brute strength accompanied by his anger and feelings of inferiority become a symbol for oppression and unfairness of social stratification. Crooks is afraid that he will be accused of doing something he is innocent of because he is ostracized, and he is often the brunt of the boss's anger when situations do not go as planned. Lennie is afraid George will leave him, and he fears  that he will not achieve his dream: winning George's ultimate approval by being trusted to care for the rabbits. 

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