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Psychological PainI have to write a paper on the psychological pain each of the...

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tishmel | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 28, 2007 at 6:29 PM via web

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Psychological Pain

I have to write a paper on the psychological pain each of the primary characters experience and how they deal (or don't deal) with their problems.  Can anyone help?  (Lennie, George, Curly's wife, Candy, maybe some others)

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mejwestut | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted September 1, 2007 at 3:26 PM (Answer #2)

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Psychological Pain

I have to write a paper on the psychological pain each of the primary characters experience and how they deal (or don't deal) with their problems.  Can anyone help?  (Lennie, George, Curly's wife, Candy, maybe some others)

Turn the request into a question for each character. What psychological pain has George experienced? Think about the problems George has experienced? How would they make you feel? How have they made George feel? Write these down.

Psychological pain is an interesting term. I've seen people experience this type of mental pain as a consequence of action or inaction.

In George's case this pain ranges from guilt (shooting Lennie), regret (inability to help Lennie), frustration (George will never realize his dream), jealousy (of other characters who are not saddled with Lennie), and duty (George's commitment to Lennie as friend).

Look at the words in italics. Add some of your own. Have other characters from the story experienced similar types of psychological pain? Fill in your list.

ADD QUOTES from the book which explain the psychological pain--teacher's love passages from the text supporting your opinion. When you write, stay organized! Look at how your teacher worded the question--this is the key when organizing your paragraphs. 

JUST A HINT: One character might not experience psychological pain on the same level as other characters. (Look at the "don't deal part of your question.)

Good-luck! 

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 18, 2007 at 6:54 PM (Answer #3)

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Lennie's psychological pain stems from wanting to please George and how that desire conflicts with wanting to please himself.  George says he needs to leave the small animals alone - Lennie continues to carry the mouse in his pocket.  George tells Lennie to leave the puppies with their mother - Lennie is too eager to pet them to do that.  Limited by his understanding, Lennie thinks that each indiscretion will only bring him the disappointment of George; he fails to realize other consequences.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 5, 2010 at 6:56 AM (Answer #4)

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You might want to think about dreams and how they relate to the psychological pain each character suffers. Dreams are an incredibly important theme for the novel, and in particular dreams that don´t materialise into reality. Thus, for example, with Curly´s Wife, you will want to consider her dream of beign a Hollywood star, and compare that with the quite bleak and lonely reality she faces being married to Curly and pretty much left to her own devices each day on the farm. This former hope she had of achieving greatness, though perhaps naive, makes us understand her suffering and intense loneliness all the more in the novel, and her desire for companionship, even if she goes about it the wrong way.

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:16 PM (Answer #5)

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George's psychological pain seems most clear and compelling of all the characters in the book. He is forced to protect Lennie from the world while also protecting the world from Lennie. In the end this means that George has to kill his best friend, a terrible choice but the right one for him to make. 

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