Of Mice and Men: Lennie and George


Of Mice and Men, written by John Steinbeck, is the story of two
simple farm hands, Lennie Small, who incidentally, really isn\'t very small, and
his better half, George Milton, on their quest to have "a place of their own,"
with plenty of furry bunnies, of course. Sound strange? Read on to get clued
in.

The book opens along the banks of the Salinas River a few miles south of
Soledad, California. Everything is calm and beautiful, and nature is alive.
The trees are green and fresh, lizards are skittering along, rabbits sit on the
sand. There are no people in the scene. Suddenly, the calm is broken. Trouble
is in the air. Animals begin to scatter. Two men have arrived on the scene,
and the environment seems troubled by their presence. For a moment the scene
becomes "lifeless." Then in walk George and Lennie.

Lennie, a large, retarded, big man who has the mind of a little child,
and who loves to pet soft, pretty things, and George, a little man, who has
assumed the responsibility of taking care of his simpleminded friend Lennie,
are walking on their way to apply for a harvesting job on a nearby farm. The
two had been traveling together for quite some time now, which was very rare,
because most farm workers rarely have companions, but George and Lennie have
been together ever since Lennie\'s Aunt had passed away, and Lennie began to
follow George around everywhere.

Instead of hurrying to the farm that night, they stop by a stream to
camp in the open, and they\'ll arrive at work the next morning. Why? Well,
Lennie isn\'t very bright. George didn\'t want him to blow the job opportunity.
The logic between waiting until morning until going to work was, that way, all
the other farm hands would be out working, thus they\'d have a better chance of
getting the job, since Lennie wouldn\'t have to confront to many people, which
can easily make him "confused."

During that evening, George had to take a dead mouse away from Lennie, who
had been hoarding it because he liked to pet it. George tried to teach
simpleminded Lennie that you don\'t pet dead things, but Lennie had a hard time
remembering.

George is aware that Lennie has difficulty remembering things, so he has
to remind him every time that they went for a job not to say anything, and to
let him do the talking. He also stresses the importance that Lennie returns to
the particular place and hide in the stream or bushes if gets in any trouble,
which plays an important role later on in the story. Also in the forest, we
here the story of living "off the fatta\' the land," for the first time. They
dreamed of one day having a place of their very own, in which Lennie could tend
to as many bunnies as he would like. Lennie was apparently obsessed with this
dream, because all throughout the book, he nags George to repeat the story over
and over, like a child. The next morning during the job interview, the boss of
the farm becomes suspicous when George answers every question for Lennie.
George told him of the situation, how he isn\'t very smart, but he makes sure
the boss realizes that he is an excellent worker. The boss is a little
suspicious, and believes that George is taking advantage of Lennie, so he had to
lie, and he told the boss that they were cousins, in order to get rid of any
suspicion. Then they were hired.

That night in the bunkhouse, which is were Lennie and George were
staying, there is a conflict over whether or not the old dog which Candy, an
old crippled farm hand, owned should be killed or not, because it smelled so
terrible. After much argument, Candy agrees to let Carlson, another farm hand,
kill the old dog. After making sure that the dog had his head turned, Carlson
shot him. Candy later regrets letting someone else shoot his own dog like that,
and wishes he would have put him out of his misery himself. This is
foreshadowing an event that takes place with Lennie and George later in the
book…

Later that night, after the old dog had been killed, Candy realized that
he to would soon be old and unwanted like the dog was, so, wanting to have
companions, he decided to join Lennie and George in their dream of having their
own place, where they could all be