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I cannot believe that Of Mice and Men is still studied at GCSE!

(71 Posts)
upatdawn Wed 07-Sep-11 13:07:16

Does anyone else have a DC studying this text? My twin sons (currently in year 11) are doing it, my 20 year old son did it at gcse level, I even did it for my GCSEs (okay well my O levels!). How do they have any questions left to answer on it? I remember when I did it really not enjoying it, neither have any of my boys. So why is it still on the curriculum? There are so many other fabulous texts that schools could use!

Sorry for the rant people, I just wondered if anyone else feels this or if I just have an unnecessary hatred for Of Mice and Men blush

mrsbabookaloo Wed 07-Sep-11 13:10:51

It's a classic. Literature is supposed to address the human condition and good literature should be timeless and still relevant several generations after it was written, and so it is still on the GCSE curriculum.

It's also nice and short, which I think is why it is popular with schools.

And I won't have a word said against Steinbeck.

GypsyMoth Wed 07-Sep-11 13:15:05

Oh dd did this last year and I had a fab time re reading it, then we got the film for ds. She's doing 'Animal farm' now

And I loved 'an inspector calls'. 'lord of the flies' is still there too,

thekidsmom Wed 07-Sep-11 13:24:48

I did this for O level too and loved it, so I wouldnt be complaining! My DD is currently doing an Inspector Calls and I hate it!

But DD is about to go to Uni and her set list includes A Midsummer Nights Dream - which she did both for A Level and in year 9! I guess there's always a new way to look at a text....

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 07-Sep-11 13:26:48

Oh I loved that book at that time, but what I hate hate HATED was The Catcher in the Rye. Couldn't identify with the hero, still can't. Don't think the authour has a frigging clue.

Abra1d Wed 07-Sep-11 13:27:13

My son enjoyed it so much last year (y9) that when he was talking about it to us my daughter (y8) went off and bought it straightaway because she wanted to read it.

iklboo Wed 07-Sep-11 13:27:28

I wish we'd have done Of Mice & Men.
We did To Kill A Mockingbird at O level. I hated it with a passion at the time (mainly becase we were a school that 'shared' books during classtime and I was sharing with someone who read/worked much, much slower than me. My English teacher gave me a copy on my leaving day to re-read and I totally fell in love with it once I could read it on 'my terms'.

GypsyMoth Wed 07-Sep-11 13:28:51

Starlight..... When the author died, last year I think, I bought catcher in the rye to read again, not got round to it yet though

adamschic Wed 07-Sep-11 13:33:09

My DD studied this for GCSE English lit a couple of years ago and hated it. She was an A grade student who blamed her B grade on how much she didn't enjoy this book. sad

Hullygully Wed 07-Sep-11 13:35:24

Poor old ds is doing it in yr10 having already done it in yr8 at his last school. teacher keeps asking him not to give away the plot when answering questions..!

sue52 Wed 07-Sep-11 13:36:28

My DD studied it last year and really enjoyed it and has gone on to read the Grapes of Wrath by the same author. We all have different tastes.

curlywurlycremeegg Wed 07-Sep-11 13:40:39

DS did it last year (Y10), he enjoyed it. I didn't study it at either GCSE or A level (I do remember Death of A Salesman with pain though!), so I read it with him.

mrsrhodgilbert Wed 07-Sep-11 13:59:33

DD2 just about to do this for gcse. I've never read it so have no opinion. I hope she enjoys it or we will never hear the end of it.

mummytime Wed 07-Sep-11 13:59:48

My DSs school has a choose of Mice and Men or to Kill a Mocking Bird. Of Mice and Men is short, which is a big big plus for those who struggle to get through books. There is a lot in it.

Do you have the same amazement that they still study Shakespeare BTW? After all after 400 years surely every question has been asked?

elphabadefiesgravity Wed 07-Sep-11 14:03:20

I remember having to read The Grapes of Wrath for A level and not liking it and I love most classic literature.

Hullygully Wed 07-Sep-11 14:06:20

I think they are all too young to appreciate these books, sure they can read them, and decode them, but they can't really appreciate them without some life experience. There are thousands of excellent contemporary texts they could study that they could really relate too. It's just good ol tradition.

AMumInScotland Wed 07-Sep-11 14:09:49

I utterly, utterly loathed Of Mice and Men when I did it for O Grade. And to make things worse, we then did The Pearl, also by Steinbeck, which I hated nearly as much. The only advantage either of them as is that they are short. But it still felt forever by the time we'd talked through all the characterisation and motivation and all the rest of it.

OTOHG I really loved doing Hamlet!

Empusa Wed 07-Sep-11 14:11:26

Oh I loved it when we did it at school! But then I also enjoyed studying Chaucer. And read Dracula when I was 11.

As far as I remember, Of Mice and Men was one of the books my class (even the book phobic ones) quite got into.

Fatshionista Wed 07-Sep-11 14:36:37

I loved Of Mice and Men and An Inspector Calls. Hated Enduring Love which I did for Lit A Level. Still got an A.

MrsRobertDuvall Wed 07-Sep-11 14:38:39

Yes dd is doing it for GCSE.
I have promised her I will read it and help her smile

quirrelquarrel Wed 07-Sep-11 16:45:26

But you don't study it. At least not today. You "study" it. I.e the teacher calls on you to read a page out and that's practically in depth analysis.

Abra1d Wed 07-Sep-11 16:58:27

Though I'm saddened that more demanding texts aren't also set. I did Pride and Prejudice for O Level. Plus Keats and SHakespeare.

Abra1d Wed 07-Sep-11 16:59:19

More linguistically challenging, that should say . . .

bushymcbush Wed 07-Sep-11 17:13:13

Abra, those texts are still set at GCSE. P&P would usually only be chosen fir a top set. Everyone studies Shakespeare. And Keats may well be encountered in the wider poetry units.

To the poster who claims we don't do in-depth analysis, I can tell you that we do. Of course, an F grade ability student might not study it as deeply as an A grade student, but analysis is the cornerstone of any GCSE literature course.

bushymcbush Wed 07-Sep-11 17:16:12

I've invariably found that Of Mice and Men goes down a storm with any group. My bottom set year 10 last year LOVED it. Maybe it's all down to the delivery.

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