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Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck

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Title: Of Mice and Men

Author: John Steinbeck

Time, Place:

Salinas Valley, California during the Great Depression in the 1930s.


Lennie Small and his friend, George Milton, were forced to leave their homes because Lennie was accused of raping a girl from another town. The book begins with the two of them hiding from the angry townspeople. Lennie had a tendency to kill small, soft animals by accident; he was unaware of his own strength. This repeatedly leads to severe problems.

Characters Descriptions

George Milton - George is small, intelligent, dark of face, has restless eyes and sharp, strong features with every part of him defined. He is a cousin to Lennie and loves him very much. Always has to bail Lennie out of his troubles.

Lennie Small - Lennie is unnaturally large and has a shapeless face. He drags his feet when he walks and lets his arms hang. He is mentally retarded and needs George's constant attention and care. He has an infatuation with anything soft and furry. He acts impulsively which gets him and George into trouble numerous times.

Curley - Curley is the boss's son, and was a welterweight boxer. He was short and stocky, and wore high-heeled boots and spurs to prove he wasn't a laboring man. He believes himself superior to everyone.

Candy-He is an old man that is missing a hand.He is an outcast and is

discriminated against. He offers his life savings to George and Lennie to

help finance their dream. He wants to be a part of it and live on the farm

with them. He has a friend and long time companion, his dog. Candy is afraid

of being alone but he consents to the killing of his dog and wishes he could

have killed him himself after it is over. Candy represents what will

ultimately happen to all ranch hands. They will get old and have no place to

go. Candy is very old and has hardly any money to his name.

Crooks-Black stable worker. He is disfigured and is an outcast as well as

Candy. He has a place of his own and stays there by himself. He doesn't want

company. He also wants to be part of George and Lennie's dream. He said that

he would work for free. He gives up on the farm dream when he realizes it

isn't going to work out. He is the only one who understands Lennie, besides

George, and befriends him. He looks past Lennie's mental handicap and Lennie

looks past Crooks' physical handicap.

Slim-Tall, thin and quiet. Slim is both respected and admired. Everyone

seeks his approval, even Curley, who seems to have contempt for everyone else

on the ranch. The others give into Slim because his word is the law. He is

the voice of reason and understanding, and he consoles George after he has

killed Lennie. Slim is the kind of man that George hopes to become one day.

Carlson- He has a lack of concern for other people's feelings and doesn't take

time to understand them. He is an insensitive person who cares nothing for

others. He pushes for the killing of Candy's dog and doesn't understand why

George is so upset after he has killed Lennie. Carlson is the type of man

George hopes to avoid becoming.

Curley's wife-There isn't much known about her. She isn't even given a name

but referred to as Curley's wife. She is lonely because Curley doesn't pay

much attention to her. This lack of attention from Curley forces her to seek

it elsewhere. She flirts with the other ranch hands but they pay her no

attention either. She is in reality the end of George's and Lennie's dream.

When Lennie kills her their dream is forever lost.

Boss-There is little known about him, except that Curley is his son. He

interviews Lennie and George when they first come to the farm. He becomes

suspicious that George is trying to put one over him because he won't let

Lennie talk. He thinks that George is going to take Lennie's pay, he warns

them he has seen wise guys before. He says that nobody can get away with

anything. They can't trick him. He isn't a trustworthy person.

Plot Summary

Chapter One

Lennie and George are hiding after getting off a bus that took them from Weed to Soledad. They were forced to leave Weed because Lennie was accused of rape. This was a very common occurrence - not being accused of rape, but being driven out of when they were. They went from ranch to ranch. They sit eating and talking about the past and talking about the future - the future where they own a ranch of their own with rabbits and chickens, and where they live off "the fatta the lan'." They discuss what there plans are for the next day; they are to go to the ranch and George is to do all the talking.

Chapter Two

Lennie and George arrived at the ranch where an old man introduced them to their new home. The boss walked in while George and Candy (the old man) are talking. He takes down George and Lennie's names, where they worked before, and what skills they have. George answers every time for Lennie which makes the boss curious. He asks George what his interest in Lennie is, thinking that George is out to get Lennie's pay. George told the



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