… of Robbie Burns Day

The best-laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
Gang aft agley…”

In observance of Robbie Burns Day and, thereby, of John Steinbeck‘s novella, Of Mice And Men, I highlight this thoughtful character study of Curley’s wife, by Leighton Meester for The Huffington Post, based upon her own stage portrayal of that character.

Perhaps above all I appreciate Meester’s nuanced intuition about the audiences who judge Curley’s wife which, beyond their relationships to the characters in the story, might suggest something about their own – our own – blind spots and hypocrisies. How often we live with daily nonchalance, oblivious to the interiority of those we encounter, and of those beyond. How much we rely on our affirmed belief of our selves.

If confronting ourselves is art’s great authenticity, then Meester’s perception is spot-on: in Curley’s wife, Steinbeck subverts our conceit – whether he intended to or not. Indeed, the best-laid schemes…

Author: Scott Robertson

Scott is a Canadian school teacher, a doctoral student in Education, an avid gardener, and a football (soccer) coach. He is also a dad. Scott worked in high school classrooms for 17 years, teaching mostly Secondary English. He describes learning as a continual constructive process of intentional self-reflection aimed at personal growth, alongside people who share similar aims. At the core of his lessons is personal responsibility, a philosophical approach to behaving with integrity by adopting the habit of thinking in a blended study of philosophy, literature, grammar, history, and science, all tied in a bundle with classical rhetoric. His students often described his approach to be unlike others they knew—in a good way—that prepared them not just for post-secondary school but for adulthood, citizenship, and life overall. Outside the classroom, Scott has been coaching football (soccer) since 1990 and still enjoys playing, too, except when he’s too injured—then he plays golf instead.

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