Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mood in Of Mice and Men

Consider the following paintings.  What mood do these paintings create and how is that mood created?




Mother Illimani with Intis, Awichas and Children (2012) Roberto Mamani Mamani

 Nocturne: The Thames at Battersea (1878) James McNeill Whistler
Christina's World (1948) Andrew Wyeth






Chapter One Excerpt:
A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green.  The water is warm too, for it has slipped twinkling over the yellow sands in the sunlight before reaching the narrow pool.  On one side of the river the golden foothill slopes curve up to the strong and rocky Gabilan mountains, but on the valley side the water is lined with trees—willows fresh and green with every spring, carrying in their lower leaf junctures the debris of the winter’s flooding; and sycamores with mottled, white, recumbent limbs and branches that arch over the pool.  On the sandy bank under the trees the leaves lie deep and so crisp that a lizard makes a great skittering if he runs among them.  Rabbits come out of the brush to sit on the sand in the evening, and the damp flats are covered with the night tracks of ‘coons, and with the spread pads of dogs from the ranches, and with the split-wedge tracks of deer that come to drink in the dark. 
There is a path through the willows and among the sycamores, a path beaten hard by boys coming down from the ranches to swim in the deep pool, and beaten hard by tramps who come wearily down from the highway in the evening to jungle-up near water.  In front of the low horizontal limb of a giant sycamore there is an ash pile made by many fires; the limb is worn smooth by men who have sat on it…..
The day was going fast now.  Only the tops of the Gabilan mountains flamed with the light of the sun that had gone from the valley.  A water snake slipped along on the pool, its head held up like a little periscope.  The reeds jerked slightly in the current.  Far off toward the highway a man shouted something, and another man shouted back.  The sycamore winds rustled under a little wind that died immediately. 


When you are finished reading the selection, open up the comments section and respond to the first comment/question.



39 comments:

  1. What mood does Steinbeck create for the reader? Explain at least two strategies (connotation, imagery, figurative language, sound/rhythm) that Steinbeck uses to establish the mood nd give specific examples from the text.

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  2. The mood Steinbeck creates for the reader is calm. Steinbeck uses a positive connotation for words like twinkling and spring. He also uses imagery in this excerpt. He explains the setting with a lot of detail, making it so the reader can understand it better.

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    1. Jamie, expand on your analysis. How do words like twinkling and spring create a calm mood? What imagery does he use and how does that create a mood? What are the details and why do those details make the selection clearer for the reader?

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  3. Steinbeck created a calm mood through imagery in this excerpt from "Of Mice and Men".He does this by describing a peaceful nature setting, with giant green trees, calm water, and blue skies. He also creates this mood through figurative language. For example, " The water is warm too, for it has slipped twinkling over the yellow sands in the sunlight before reaching the narrow pool."

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    1. How does that figurative language develop the mood?

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  4. The mood that Steinbeck creates for the reader is peaceful. One of the ways he created this was his use of imagery. In the excerpt, it says, " On the sandy bank under the trees the leaves lie deep and so crisp that a lizard makes a great skittering if he runs among them." This creates this visual image of a lizard running on the sandy bank across the crisp, deeply embedded leaves as he skitters them about. Another way Steinbeck created this mood was with figurative language. In the excerpt, it says, "The water is warm too, for it has slipped twinkling over the yellow sands in the sunlight before reaching the narrow pool." The use of the words warm, twinkling, narrow, all are used to create a feeling for the reader, in which they feel at peace because of the language used.

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    1. Why/how does the image of the lizard develop the mood?

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  5. In the section pulled from Of Mice and Men the mood Steinbeck creates a very calm and peaceful introduction. Steinbeck does so with his use of imagery,"... the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green. The water is warm too, for it has slipped twinkling over the yellow sands in the sunlight before reaching the narrow pool", is any example because he shows in great detail the landscape of the Salinas River.

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    1. How does that landscape create a mood? Explain! Also, you need TWO strategies :)

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  6. Steinbeck creates a quiescent mood by using imagery and connotation. Steinbeck uses word like "Gabilan mountains" and "paths beaten hard by boys coming down" to put an image in the readers head of the natural beauty and calmness of the scene. He also uses words like "Golden Foothills" to give emotion to the scene instead of just saying foothills.

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    1. Interesting. I wouldn't normally pull "paths beaten hard by boys coming down" as a way to create a quiescent mood. Boys beating down a path makes me think of rambunction or commotion. Can you explain how this developed a calmness? Also, how does GOLDEN foothills create mood as oppsed to just foothills?

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  7. Steinbeck creates a mood of being relaxed by using imagery and figurative language. For example like him explaining what goes on through out the day saying stuff like "Only the tops of the Gabilan mountains flamed with the light of the sun that had gone from the valley" for imagery. Steinbeck uses figurative language by explaining the sandy bank "On the sandy bank under the trees the leaves lie deep and so crisp that a lizard makes a great skittering if he runs among them"

    - Uvaldo

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    1. Uvaldo, Make sure that you are signed in!

      How does the mountain imagery create a relaxing mood? Explain! Also, avoid using words such as "stuff" or "things" in your writing :)

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  8. the author wanted to give the reader the feeling of hardship. He used this by telling us in the passage "beaten hard by tramps who came wearily down from the highway" because this book was set in the "depression" era work would be hard to find so people would go from ranch to ranch to find work.
    He also wanted the reader to feel lonely in the vast space by using imagery. Soledad in Spanish stands for solitude this would give the reader a visual of what this place would be like after he then stated everything that you would see in the environment

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    1. I like your idea of us feeling lonely in a vast space, but can you point to a specific example that shows us this? What specific imagery leads us to this lonliness?

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  9. Steinbeck uses mood to set the mood through imagrey. in Of Mice and Men the author sets a calm mood for the reader by discribing a calm place. Ste

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    1. What imagery does he use and how does it develop a mood?

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  10. Steinbeck creates a mood of being relaxed by using imagery and figurative language. For example like him explaining what goes on through out the day saying stuff like "Only the tops of the Gabilan mountains flamed with the light of the sun that had gone from the valley" for imagery. Steinbeck uses figurative language by explaining the sandy bank "On the sandy bank under the trees the leaves lie deep and so crisp that a lizard makes a great skittering if he runs among them"

    - Uvaldo

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  11. Steinbeck creates a smooth, flowing, relaxed mood for the reader in this excerpt. Two ways Steinbeck uses to show the mood is the imagery he uses to explain where the setting will be taking place. Steinbeck says "Willows fresh and green with every spring, carrying in their lower leaf junctures the debris of the winter’s flooding; and sycamores with mottled, white, recumbent limbs and branches that arch over the pool." In this example he shows imagery by explaining exactly what the trees around the river. The other strategy he uses is the language choice he use to describe things. For example he uses recumbent, twinkling, and fresh. Steinbeck uses these words to create a unique type of style to set the mood.

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    1. Drea, try to simplify your writing. Look at the second sentence. "Steinbeck shows mood in two ways." How does this imagery develop the mood? What is it about this image makes us feel relaxed and smooth?

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  12. Steinbeck uses metaphors and imagery to create a soft mellow mood, he does this be comparing things that have no comparison otherwise. like the golden flow of the river and the yellow sandy beach.Then he uses imagery to create things like the river and the beach, even the lizard coming into mind.

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    1. What does he compare the golden flow to? The sandy beach? Try to avoid words like "things" in your writing.

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  13. Steinbeck also uses great imagery to help the reader visualize the scene. He says, "Rabbits come out of the brush to sit on the sand in the evening, and the damp flats are covered with the night tracks of ‘coons, and with the spread pads of dogs from the ranches, and with the split-wedge tracks of deer that come to drink in the dark." All the descriptive words help to see what he is writing about in the readers head.

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    1. Chelsea, imagery helps the reader visualize the scene. Readjust your topic sentence to "Steinbeck uses imagery to create a ____ mood for the reader."

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  14. Steinback creates the mood of peace and calm by using descriptive imagery. He includes details that are considered peaceful and relaxed. For example,"The water is warm too,for it has slipped twinkling over the yellow sands in the sunlight before reaching the narrow pool." This quote from the text proves how Steinback uses imagery to create the mood of peace. Steinback also creates the mood by connotaion. His word choice has the connotaion of positive thoughts to create a relaxing and peaceful image or thought come to mind. For example,"... willows fresh and green with every spring..." This quote proves how his word choice provides a vivid positive image and creates a calm and peaceful mood.

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  15. I think the mood in this excerpt is Peaceful and undisturbed because Steinbeck used Imagery. Steinbeck used imagery in the beginning to make me feel warm. he also used Sound/rhythm towards the end of the excerpt to show me that the modern world was invading the serenity of the forest.

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    1. Who are you? Make sure that you're signed in!

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  16. I feel that the mood is calm and still. The way everything was described creates an image of a very green, very "naturey" setting that gives off a warm autumn vibe."The leaves lie so deep and so crisp..." The connotation was very positive/smooth-like. It made everything seem mellow; "the limb is worn smooth.." something worn usually gives off the feel of soft.

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    1. Instead of saying some generic like "the way everything was described", point to specific examples. This gives your writing strength and voice. How does it create a warm vibe? Take us inside your brain!

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  17. The author most uses imagery by describing the format of the setting by saying "A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green." he also uses figurative language by saying "The day was going fast now" which usually means that a lot is happening and enjoying the time

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    1. Bear in mind that setting is not one of the strategies used to create mood. Instead, point to specific word choice/imagery that develops the mood. How does this word choice create what kind of mood for the reader?

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  18. Steinbeck creates a calm mood for me. He creates this by using a lot of imagery. He uses color to describe many things in the woods and those colors are yellow, green, and blue. Those colors are very cool and calming colors. He also writes in a very smooth rhythm. His sentences flow together and they are all pretty long and none are short and choppy. His just writes what is going on and what all the animals are doing and how the sycamores rustle in the wind. Its all very matter-of-fact with i find very calming.

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    1. Your response is strong up until the part beginning with "His just writes". Instead, explain how those LONG sentences create a flow as opposed to short choppy ones. You are on the verge of literary analysis!

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  19. The mood that Steinbeck creates is warm and calm. He does this by using imagery like 'golden foothills' and 'a limb worn smooth by men sitting on it'. These images create a positive and calm feeling. He also uses words like 'fresh and green' as well as 'strong'. These words have positive connotation and give a warm feeling to the reader.

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    1. How do they create a positive/calm feeling? What associations do we make? Go further!

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  20. Steinbeck creates a very laid back, calm mood using imagery. For example, "On the sandy bank under the trees the leaves lie deep and so crisp that a lizard makes a great skittering if he runs among them." A mood is also created by describing the setting, "Only the tops of the Gabilan mountains flamed with the light of the sun that had gone from the valley."

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    1. How does this image (on the sandy bank...) develop a calm mood? Explain!

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  21. Steinbeck creates a cheerful mood by using positive connotation. He uses words such as golden, crisp, fresh and green, and twinkling. It helps the reader feel cheerful and happy. Steinbeck also uses great imagery to help the reader visualize the scene. He says, "Rabbits come out of the brush to sit on the sand in the evening, and the damp flats are covered with the night tracks of ‘coons, and with the spread pads of dogs from the ranches, and with the split-wedge tracks of deer that come to drink in the dark." All the descriptive words help to see what he is writing about in the readers head.

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    1. Why do these words make us feel cheerful and happy? What associations do we make with these words? How does the imagery develop the mood?

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