He is also a planner, telling Lennie where he should go if there is trouble on the ranch. He also works hard to make the dream of owing a ten-acre farm become a reality. Unlike the other ranch hands that squander their money on women and drink, George refuses to spend a dime frivolously, saving everything to make the dream come true.
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He wants to buy the farm so that he and Lennie can live there, free from problems and constraints caused by society. Although he scolds and even screams at him, he is never intentionally mean or cruel. Several times George thinks about what he could do if Lennie were not around, but they are just idle thoughts. George is legally free to desert the retarded man at any point in time; emotionally, however, he is entirely bound to Lennie, as his protector and companion.
Lennie also keeps George from feeling the isolation and loneliness that possess the other ranch hands. Because George cares for Lennie so deeply, he cannot allow him to die brutally at the hands of Curley and the angry ranch hands. It was a terribly difficult thing for George to do, and at the end of the book, Steinbeck paints him feeling lost and alone without his faithful companion and without a dream to keep him going. He is innocent and forgetful like a child. He is also attracted to small, soft things because of his child-like, gentle nature.
Unfortunately, he often harms the things he loves accidentally. As a huge man with heavy arms and powerful hands, he does not know or understand his own strength.
Early in the novel, when Lennie likes to pet soft things, Steinbeck is using what technique?
Lennie idolizes George, his kind caretaker, almost like a god. He tries hard to remember everything George tells him to do and obeys him implicitly without asking any questions. Even though Lennie did not know how to swim, he jumped in a river one time when George jokingly told him to do so. Because Lennie is slow, forgetful, and powerful, he causes trouble for George wherever they go. They had to leave the last job because Lennie reached out and grabbed the dress of a little girl and would not let go. When she screamed, the townspeople came and blamed Lennie for attempted rape.
Lennie never means to cause problems. He did not mean to kill his puppy and greatly regrets that it is dead. He tries to stay away from Curley and his wife, as George suggested. She, however, comes to Lennie in the barn and tells him he can stroke her hair. When he is too rough, she begins to scream and Lennie panics. When he covers her mouth and shakes her to be quiet, he accidentally breaks her neck. Throughout the book Lennie is portrayed as a dreamer.
Lennie dreams with George of having a small piece of land; he is obsessed with one aspect of this dream: having a small rabbit hutch where he can tend rabbits. Lennie is incapable of making decisions by himself and relies on George entirely. An old, crippled man who has lost his hand, Candy is the swamper at the ranch. He remains attached to his aging dog, who has become so weak and sickly that it depends entirely on Candy to survive. Still, when Carlson objects to the dog's smell, Candy allows Carlson to put the dog out of its misery. Candy is a passive man, unable to take any independent action.
Indeed, his one major act in the book - when he offers Lennie and George money in order to buy a piece of land with them - is a means by which he can become dependent on them.
The son of the ranch owner, Curley is a man of short stature who is nevertheless a formidable boxer. Curley is aggressive, boastful and cocky, with a volatile temper and a tendency to provoke conflict with the weak, as he does with Lennie. Part of Curley's bravado stems from anxiety over his new wife, who everyone widely suspects of being "a tramp.
Generally considered to be a tramp by the men at the ranch, Curley's wife is the only major character in Of Mice and Men whom Steinbeck does not give a name. She dislikes her husband and feels desperately lonely at the ranch, for she is the only woman and feels isolated from the other men, who openly scorn her. She still holds some small hope of a better life, claiming that she had the chance to become a movie star in Hollywood, but otherwise is a bitter and scornful woman who uses sex to intimidate the workers. Lennie accidentally murders her.
How Loneliness Affects Characters in of Mice and Men Paper
The stable buck at the ranch, Crooks is also the only black man in the novel. A proud and bitter man, Crooks has a cynical intelligence and a contemptuous demeanor that he uses to prevent others from inevitably excluding him because of his race. His defensive manner fades, however, once Lennie behaves kindly toward him, and he even considers helping Lennie and Candy with their plan to buy land until the threats by Curley's wife force him back into his normal combative posture.
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A large, big-stomached man who works at the ranch, Carlson complains about Candy's dog and eventually offers to put the old dog out of its misery. In such cases, dreams become a source of intense bitterness because they seduce cynical men to believe in them and then mock those men for their gullibility. Ultimately, the dreams of ranches and rabbits that George and Lennie treasure are the very things that undo them.
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Seduced by how close he thinks he is to realizing his dream, George fools himself into thinking that Lennie can mind himself and stay out of trouble when past events confirm the contrary. Of Mice and Men by: John Steinbeck. Important Quotations Explained. Of Mice and Men: Popular pages.