From Christopher Booker’s ‘The Seven Basic Plots’ (2004) to the variously attributed assertion that ‘all great literature is one of two stories: a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town’, I have found it fascinating to consider to what degree we can abstract general narratives from literature. Recently, though, I’ve begun to believe that there is really only one story…
I have been covering William Blake’s ‘The Tyger’ with my Y11 class this week. Like many English teachers, I teach the companion poem ‘The Lamb’ at the same time, using the similarities and differences between the two to develop and deepen understanding. Having just finished teaching Of Mice and Men to my Y10 class, I was struck by some powerful similarities that are worth exporing1.
Continue reading “Blake’s Lamb and Tyger”
Lennie’s demise at the end of Of Mice and Men is the culmination of the deaths that Steinbeck has used throughout the text to convey the hopelessness of the world these characters inhabit. Yet Lennie’s death does not just represent the death of their dream; it has a much more significant and symbolic role in our understanding of ourselves.
Continue reading “Lennie’s Death and the Death of the Dream”