Motifs in Of Mice and Men


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The definition of a motif is:

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1. Which motif in 'Of Mice and Men' most clearly highlights the theme 'the best laid plans can often go wrong?'

2. Steinbeck hints that there may be trouble later in the novel when George reminds Lennie to go back to the river setting if anything should happen. These hints are an example of what literary term?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Of Mice and Men tells the stories of two friends, Lennie and George, trying to work their way towards a better life. Questions in this quiz test your understanding of the various literary techniques that the novel employs, with a special focus on motifs.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

This quiz and worksheet will assess your understanding of the following:

  • Definition of motif
  • Motif related to theme of 'the best laid plans can often go wrong'
  • Repetition of negative effects of loneliness
  • Lennie and the motif suggesting he may not be responsible for his actions

Skills Practiced

  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about motifs found in the novel
  • Defining key concepts - recognize and define important terms, such as 'motif'
  • Distinguishing differences - compare and contrast the many literary techniques used in Of Mice and Men

Additional Learning

If you'd like to learn more, the accompanying lesson titled Motifs in Of Mice and Men covers this topic further. The lesson contains the following objectives:

  • Analyze the theme of loneliness and how it affects the novel's characters
  • Discuss the 'dream ranch' and its role in the story
  • Study the motif of animal imagery