How can I write an A-grade creative writing essay that includes a character from Of Mice And Men?

1 Answer | Add Yours

durbanville's profile pic

durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

To ensure that your essay is worthy of an A, it is important that it includes the essential elements of creative writing. However, as creative writing is, by definition, unique, it is important to ask yourself what your intention is and what you mean. Figurative language is key as the reader wants to be drawn in through his own interpretation without everything being described in direct terms; however, the language you use must make sense and must transmit what you are feeling or trying to say. Do not use figurative language that you do not understand. An educator, marking your work, will immediately spot this and realize that, whilst you have a collection of figurative language on the page, you do not understand its basic meaning.  

For a well-developed essay, motifs and symbols and rhetoric devices such as pathos where the writer appeals to the reader's emotions, can be used as they have real dramatic effect in persuading a reader. Coming to a rational decision whilst involved in an emotional argument is challenging so engage the reader.

Irony is also a popular way to bring an essay to life as a reader can usually identify it and appreciate its worth. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, uses irony. It can be as simple as Lennie's name ("Small" when he is anything but small), or the fact that George, overcome by his responsibility for Lennie, must kill him to protect him. The symbolism, the yearning for freedom and Lennie wanting to " get that place now," adds drama and real sadness to Lennie's plight. The reader is more inclined to feel sorry rather than to judge Lennie or George. A recurring motif is the effect of loneliness and of absolute friendship such as that between Lennie and George. Lennie's physical appearance and his stature support a motif representing physical strength compared to real strength; for example, strength of character. Lennie's strength is what actually destroys him in the end but it is George's strength that, ironically, saves Lennie - from himself and the cruelty of others. 

Therefore, in writing your own creative essay, include a powerful thesis statement. Be sure to be direct, not vague, to ensure that the reader is persuaded from the beginning. If you were to choose something like the complexity of the friendship between Lennie and George you could say:

The test of real friendship is doing what your friend needs regardless of the personal cost or sacrifice; when the consequences for yourself are unimaginable and terrifying but your resolve does not diminish. 

In keeping with the friendship theme, explore what friendship is; how it encompasses so much more than can ever actually be explained. How actions and reactions form part of friendship, not just words. Spark the imagination of the reader who will think affectionately of friends or experience pain recalling a difficult memory. These are all expressions to invoke. Make the reader feel the strength of the friendship you describe or learn from the lessons you impart.

Sometimes in creative writing, a writer tries hard to be imaginative and to create a fantastical situation. If this is your style, then carry it through so that the reader remains enthralled. Some find creative writing difficult, in which case, use real life situations and build on them. Think of people you have observed and create your characters from real life. Some of the most original characters are created this way as they represent a combination of ideals. 

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,928 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question