Of Mice and Men’ By John Steinbeck Revision Booklet

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Of Mice and Men’
By John Steinbeck

Revision Booklet

English Literature

Unit 1: Part B:

Exploring Cultures
The examination

  • This is worth 20% of the total GCSE

  • It is 45 minutes of a 90 minute exam.

  • You must answer ONE question. The question is in two parts:

    • Part A: candidates respond to a passage from the text

    • Part B: candidates must link this passage to the whole text.

Sample question:
Read the passage ‘On one side of the little room… lighter than his face’ (pg 66-67, penguin ed.)

  1. How do the details of this passage add to your understanding of Crooks?

  2. How does Steinbeck use the character of Crooks in the novel as a whole to convey ideas about America in the 1930s?

Assessment criteria
AO1: Respond to texts critically and imaginatively, select and evaluate textual detail to illustrate and support interpretations.
AO2: Explain how language, structure and form contribute to writers’ presentation of ideas, themes and settings.
AO4: Relate texts to their social, cultural and historical contexts; explain how texts have been influential and significant to self and other readers in different contexts and at different times.
What you need to have revised:

  • ALL the characters. You could get asked about any of them!

  • ALL the key settings.

  • ALL the key THEMES (‘big ideas’) of the story

  • You need to know what happens in each chapter.

  • You will need to have learned a number of key quotes that relate to the characters and themes.

What We Will Revise
In order to succeed you will need to be able to write PEEs about the following aspects of the book.
Therefore you will need to know not just what happens but where to find quotes in your copy of the book.


  • What are the messages of the book?

  • Big Ideas (loneliness, friendship, the American Dream etc)

  • How are the themes shown through the plot and characters?


  • Appearance

  • Personality

  • How they talk

  • What do they want (motivation)

  • Their relationships with each other

  • History before we meet them


  • You will need to list the main places in the story

  • What is the significance of these places in terms of theme and character?

  • Social, historical context of the novel: Great Depression etc


  • On a simple level, what happens in the story

  • How the characters and their relationships change

  • How our understanding of the themes and setting change over the course of the book.

  • Key events in the story which mark the different changes of the characters.

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