Of Mice and Men Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

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What are some interesting titles for each chapter of the novella Of Mice and Men?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Titles of chapters should reflect significant events that take place in the given chapter and also grab the reader's attention. I would consider titling Chapter 1 "The Dead Mouse" because George argues with Lennie about keeping the dead mouse. Lennie's obsession with the dead mouse is significant because it portrays his mental handicap and loving heart. It also depicts Lennie's strength and accident-prone personality. I would title Chapter 2 "Newcomers" because George and Lennie arrive at the bunkhouse and meet their boss.

An enticing title for Chapter 3 could be "The Sound of Death." This title reflects how Steinbeck pays particular attention to the ominous silence surrounding the death of Candy's dog. I would consider titling Chapter 4 "The American Dream" to reflect Lennie's description of the ideal life on a farm with George. Crooks is even enticed by the possibility of living with the two men.

In Chapter 5, Lennie accidentally kills Curley's wife. I would consider the title "Another Bad Thing" because that is what Lennie whispers to himself after realizing Curley's wife is dead. I would title Chapter 6 "Lesser of Two Evils" because George is forced to kill Lennie. Either way, Lennie was going to die. George essentially saved Lennie from a worse experience by killing Lennie before the lynch mob captured him.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I tend to think that the titles of the chapters should be tied into the themes or essential events of each chapter.  For example, chapter 1 might earn the title of "The Riverbed" because of the details offered of the small river in it as well as how George warns Lennie to return back there in the event of problems or concern.  The second chapter might be described as "The Quarters," as so much detail is given into where the men work and live as well as how much of the action happens there.  Chapter three would have to be "The Silence," reflecting the reactions of everyone to Candy's dog being killed and the waiting for the event to happen.  For Chapter 4, I think that "The Conversation" might reflect both the shared discussions that happen between Lennie and Crooks, Candy, Crooks and Lennie, and the brutal conversation between all of them and Curley's Wife.  I like the title of "The Tight Sausages" for Chapter five, reflective of how Lennie saw Curley's wife's hair and wanted to touch it because it was so "purty."  "The Decision" would have to be the last chapter's title as the decision to kill Lennie becomes the defining one in the narrative.

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