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How can I "leave my reader thinking?" in my conclusion on my Character Analysis Essay...

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wahaguru-10 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 15, 2012 at 5:43 AM via web

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How can I "leave my reader thinking?" in my conclusion on my Character Analysis Essay for Lennie in Of Mice and Men?

Here's my conclusion:

Clearly, Lennie is mostly influenced by George, the dream farm and his obsession of soft things. All these motivators are tied together because of Lennie’s disability. Lennie’s has childlike actions such as soft things, and actually thinking that the dream farm was actually going to happen. He also follows George around like he’s his master. In conclusion, because of Lennie’s disability, his character is seen as an innocent and naïve character in the book. Lennie’s babyish behavior causes death for Curley’s wife and causes fights with Curley. Through this experience, one might learn the life style of a disabled person like Lennie. One might relate to Lennie’s motivation by having a similar inspiration such as a person like George, or a goal for the future like the dream farm.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 15, 2012 at 11:46 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that the essay is fairly direct in its assessment.  If we are looking for a type of reflective note that can be struck, it might that Lennie is not really a character with disabilities.  Rather, he represents one part of the human experience.  The desire for something more than what is, the hopeful notion of transformation, yields everyone to represent what Lennie does.  Certainly, this is true in the story.  Candy, Curley's wife, and Crooks are all examples of characters who wish for something more than what is.  In each of their conditions, their vulnerability in hope for the future is what makes them like Lennie, holding beyond hope that what can be is able to replace the current state of being.  In this development, Steinbeck has rendered a portrait in which individuals who have dreams and live through hope are like Lennie, yearning for change in a world that is stubbornly against it.  This is where we resemble Lennie.  We cry at the end because when Lennie dies, a part of our hope dies with him.  I think that if your paper could develop this type of reflection and construction, there is a good chance that you will be able to leave the reader "thinking" regarding about Lennie and the purpose he serves in the narrative.

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William Delaney | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 15, 2012 at 3:34 PM (Answer #2)

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Another possibility for leaving the reader thinking might be to ask what would have happened to George after the tragedy at the riverbank. Surely George would not have wanted to stay on the ranch but would have packed up his belongings, said goodbye to a few of the men, and hit the road all by himself for the first time in many years. How would he have felt about what he had done? Would he have given any further thought to the dream of owning a little farm? Would have have been haunted by memories of Lennie? Would he have realized that he had been as dependent on Lennie as Lennie was on him because, for one thing, Lennie always made his dream seem credible and attainable? Does George feel free now that he is rid of the responsibility of looking after Lennie? Or does he just feel lonely?

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