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Describe Lennie's physical and mental characteristics. Why is George "in charge" of Lennie?

Full grown man with the mentality of a child but lots of strength. Lennie is dependent on George and others, like an animal.
George promised Lennie's Aunt Clara he would take care of him.


Explain why George and Lennie had to leave their job in Weed.

Lennie wanted to touch a girl's dress (said it looked soft) but she misunderstood and thought she was being attacked. She sent some men after him, and they tried to lynch him.


What does the girl's dress in Weed and the mouse he carries in his pocket have in common for Lennie?

Soft, provide comfort. They both looked like something nice to pet to him but he doesn't realise the consequences of his actions.


Why does George offer to give Lennie a pup?

George hopes this will get Lennie to keep his promises of keeping quiet and avoiding Curley


Why do George and Lennie feel that they are different from other guys?

Have a future and each other (other guys travel alone from farm to farm)


Describe how things are going to be "someday" for George and Lennie?

They're going to own a farm (a few acres with cows and pigs) and make their own money. During the Depression, people didn't own private land. Lennie is going to tend to the rabbits


What instructions does George give Lennie right before they go to sleep?

1. Don't talk to the boss.

2. Return to the pond area and hide in the brush if he gets into trouble at the farm


Lennie tells Aunt Clara that he "tried and tried" but he "couldn't help" doing bad things. Were the things Lennie did "bad"? Could he "help it"?

Yes, he killed animals and humans, but he couldn't help it because he was misunderstood (size). These things caused trouble, but he never intended for anything bad to happen.


Describe what Slim does at the end of the novel. What does he tell George?

He is kind to George and says sometimes you just have to do extreme things in extreme circumstances. Wants to go get a drink with George.


Both Lennie's Aunt Clara and a gigantic rabbit appear while Lennie waits for George. What might each of these figures represent?

Aunt Clara- guilt, conscience. Lennie forgets things so he needs someone to tell him he's in the wrong. Aunt Clara = his limited capacity to feel guilt. Rabbit= Lennie's paradise, happiness, and comfort.


What do mice seem to represent in the first chapter? What significance might they have with regard to the title of the book, or to the story itself?

Mice are helpless. Can be destroyed by powers that are beyond their control. Represent people who couldn't control situation during that time period (like Lennie).

The title of the book refers to the Robert Burns poem 'To a Mouse' - "The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!" Plans often don't work out as we hope they will.


What does Carlson assume happened to Lennie? What does George say?

That Lennie had his (Carlson's) gun and George got it from Lennie and killed him OR Lennie shot himself. George says Lennie had the gun (doesn't want to get in trouble for taking Carlson's gun)


Slim tells George it wouldn't be good for Lennie to be locked up, strapped down, and put in a cage. What do you think he is suggesting to George? Do you agree or not?

He's suggesting that George should get rid of Lennie by killing because Curley is rounding up others and coming after him so the only other choice is for Lennie to disappear. If he ran away he would end up in an institution: locked, strapped, in cage.


Candy knows that he and George won't get the place together. Why do you think George is unwilling to go in with Candy?

George and Lennie's dream . It was George's way of soothing Lennie, even thouhgh he knew they wouldn't actually get it. He'd feel funny sharing this dream with someone else.


What is the statement the gigantic rabbit repeats to taunt Lennie?

George is gonna leave you


George remarks that he continually has to get Lennie out of trouble. What things does he say to Lennie that lead one to believe he expects trouble? Does it seem likely or unlikely that this new job will turn out differently for the two of them?

He tells Lennie not to say anything once they get to the farm or they might not get the job and tells Lennie where to come if he gets into trouble. unlikely that this job will be different because they arrive late and someone already wants to fight Lennie


What does the story of the dream ranch represent?

Hope for a better future


What does Curley's wife give Lennie as the reason for her having married Curley?

To spite her mother and get away from her.


Why does Lennie become angry at Curley's wife? What is the result of his anger?

For yelling because he was grabbing her hair, which made him yank harder. He kills her.


What does Lennie repeatedly tell his "Aunt Clara" when she accuses him of doing bad things and not minding George?

He says that he tried and tried (to mind George so that he could tend the rabbits)


What does Curley say he's going to do to Lennie?

Shoot him in the gut.


Why does Curley's wife say she wants to talk to Lennie?

She's lonely and wants a friend


Why does Lennie get angry at his dead puppy?

Tried to scold it for biting too hard. He is mad that he won't be able to tend the rabbits now that the dog "made him kill it"


Crooks tells George to forget what he said about hoeing and doing odd jobs on their dream ranch. He says he didn't mean it and wouldn't want to go to a place like that. Do you believe that he didn't mean what he said?

This is Crooks trying not to show any weakness, he doesn't want George or the other men to know about his hopes and dreams as he doesn't trust them.


Why do mice represent Curley's wife?

Married for money, no friends, Curley cheating on her (she knows it), and a woman was defined by her husband at the time


Curley's wife indicates that she doesn't like her husband. Why do you think she married him?

Money (the story took place during the Depression).
Wanting to get away from her mother.
Hoping for a better future.


Crooks says, "Everybody wants a little piece of lan'...and nobody gets no land. It's just in their head." Is it possible that George, Lennie, and Candy will be the exception to this?

Many men have passed through with the same big ideas but didn't accomplish their goals because they gave up hope. George, Lennie, and Candy have money, each other, are saving money, and already picked out a house. However Steinbeck uses foreshadowing to hint that they will not get their dream - George and Lennie's past experiences show the reader that they will probably not achieve their dream.


Why do mice represent Candy?

Old; can't do much more work on the farm; can't assert his opinion about his dog.


Crooks tells Lennie he now knows why his old man didn't like his playing with white kids. What does he now know?

Didn't know the extent of racism. The dad didn't like the white kids because their parents' influence would someday make them racist, too. As kids, though, they just wanted to play.
Segregation in America at the time.


What does Curley's wife say to Lennie about Curley?

She's glad Lennie beat Curley up because he deserved it. Sometimes she wants to beat him up too.


Why do mice represent Crooks?

He is black (experiences racism) and crippled (can only do certain jobs on the farm)


What does Curley's wife say she might have done instead of marrying Curley?

Be an actress/movie star.


What do mice represent Lennie?

He can't help having a mental disability


What offer does Crooks make to Candy and Lennie with regard to the place they and George intend to acquire?

Offers to work for nothing. He'd come and help out if they wanted and he'd lend a hand. He does this to show that he acknowledges their kindness and doesn't want to be discriminated against for being black and crippled.


What reason might Crooks have for changing his mind about joining the others?

I think he's afraid of what will happen if he tries to assert his independence again (Curley's wife threatened to lynch him JUST for telling her to leave his room)


What does George tell Candy he has known all along?

He knew he would never get the dream ranch. The story gave them false hope and comforted Lennie.


George shows his anger and concern at Lennie. Why do you think George continues to, as Lennie states, "look after me"? Do you think that Lennie contributes anything to their relationship? Is there any sense in which he is able to "look after" Geroge?

George would feel guilty leaving Lennie (promised his aunt clara he'd take care of him). Lennie is company for George and protection. Lennie's need for George gives George a purpose in life.


Why does Curley's wife threaten Crooks? What does she threaten him with?

Because he tried to stand up to her and say she had no right to come into his room. She threatens to lynch him.


What does Carlson ask Slim to do for Candy?

To shoot Candy's dog (because it smells)


Why does George tell Slim the truth about what happened in Weed?

Wants to talk about it with someone and is torn btw helping Lennie and living his own life. Trust


How does George explain his relationship with Lennie to Slim?

George tries to hide that he really likes Lennie and uses the excuse that he is used to Lennie since they grew up together and have been friends for a long time.


What does Candy say to George about his dog?

Should have done it himself (responsibility). Intentions; wishes someone would shoot him if he got too old to work or look after himself.


George tells Slim that he used to play jokes on Lennie but that he finally stopped. What does this indicate to you about George's character?

George cares a lot about his reputation but is soft on the inside and will try to do the right thing.
This could also be an indication that George has a darker side.


What is Curley's wife's explanation for the reason guys won't talk unless the're alone?

They're all scared of each other. They're afraid that another person they would talk would be trying to get info to use against them.


What does the boss suspect George of doing to Lennie? What makes him think this?

He's never seen one man try and go to so much trouble to get a job for another man. The boss thinks that George only hangs around and travels with Lennie so he can take his pay because George does all of the talking


What does Crooks say will happen to Lennie if George doesn't come back?

Will be taken to the "booby trap" (insane asylum)


Summarize Candy's description of Curley's wife.

Calls her a tart (prostitute).
She married Curley but flirts with the other farm workers.


Name the 2 things George tells Lennie to do with regard to Curley.

1. Don't have anything to do with Curley- don't even talk to him.
2. If Curley hits you first, beat him up.


Explain what makes the boss suspicious when he meets Lennie and George.

Lennie doesn't talk (George does all of the talking). He thinks George only defends Lennie and makes him work so that he can take the money.


Why does George refuse to go with Whit to see whether Slim and Curley will get into a fight?

He doesn't like Curley and is still afraid of getting into a fight with Curley. He's very caution because he doesn't want to lose his temper and get fired


What does George say he's scared he will do to Curley? Why?

Fight Curley because Curley disgusts him


George lies to the boss about being Lennie's cousin and about the cause for Lennie's condition. Why do you think he feels it is necessary to tell such lies?

He is probably afraid that the boss won't hire them if he knew that Lennie was mentally retarded (discriminated against in 1930s) and that George was too soft to leave Lennie. The story about getting kicked in the head by a horse would get a sympathy vote since it wasn't Lennie's fault


George reminds Lennie, after his instructions to him about Curley, to remember the hiding place by the river. What does this suggest George is thinking?

That Lennie is going to end up in trouble (Curley, Curley's wife)


Lennie says he wants to leave the ranch because "It's mean here." What do you think he's trying to express?

He senses danger and is afraid that he will get into a fight with Curley and then not be able to tend to the rabbits


Who is Slim?

The "prince of the ranch;" represents justice; has last say in things (deciding factor)


What does George ask Whit about the "new kid," Curley's wife?

If there has been any trouble since she arrived at the farm (Lennie)


Describe George's reaction when Slim calls Lennie "a cuckoo."

He gets angry and defends Lennie. Says that everyone on the farm is not smart if they don't have their own land.


What explanation does Candy give George for Curley's treatment of Lennie?

He is the farm owner's son, so everyone sucks up to him. AND Curley is a fighter, he's small, so feels threatened by Lennie's size.


What does George tell Lennie that Curley's wife is? What does he instruct Lennie to do about her?

A piece of "jail bait." George tells Lennie not to even look at her


Slim protects George and Lennie after Lennie's confrontation with Curley. Why do you think he does this? What does this suggest to you about Slim's character?

I think he protects George and Lennie after the fight because he realises that they really care`about him and aren't just pretending for attntn, like Curley. He's observant and fair.


What is a skinner?

The person in charge of 20 mules; hard job that consists of getting them to move at the same time


Slim remarks that Lennie is "Jes like a kid." Is that description accurate?

Lennie is like a child because he: is dependent on others, especially George; will not stand up for himself on his own; always gets overexcited about small things (like the rabbits); and is comforted by petting soft objects but does not think of the consequences


Carlson assures Candy that he can shoot Cnady's old dog without him feeling any pain and demonstrates how he would do it. What does this scene reveal about Carlson's character?

Carlson will do anything to get what he wants- he kept pushing Candy to let him get rid of the dog. He tries to offer comfort but is too rough around the edges


What, according to Crooks, happens to a man if he doesn't have somebody?

They become very confused and feel lost in life because they don't have anyone to double-check things with; go crazy.


How does Crooks differ from other ranch hands?

Accumulated a lot of things; likes to read and be educated; crippled.


Consider Carlson's suggestion about the old man's (Candy) dog. Do you agree or disagree with his suggestion? What does this suggestion reveal about Carlson's character?

Wants to put the dog down only because it smells, not to put it out of its misery. He's selfish and pushy


What does Slim makes Curley agree to?

That Curley will say he got his hand stuck in a machine instead of saying Lennie hurt him. Otherwise, they'll make fun of Curley for getting beaten up (Curley= too prideful)


What's a bindle?

A hobo sack for migrant workers during 1930s; all of their belongings are wrapped up in blankets


Describe the offer Candy makes to George. What is George's first reaction? What is his final reaction?

To pay for part of the house he and Lennie want to buy. At first George doesn't want to share it but they decide that they will all 3 move in at the end of the month. Candy promises to give entire life savings if he could live there (old- die in streets)


Why does Curley attack Lennie? What is the result of his attack?

He needs to take his anger out on someone and thinks Lennie is laughing at him (Lennie was smiling at the thought of the rabbits) At first Lennie doesn't know what to do and lets Curley bruise his face but breaks Curley's hand (George tells him to).


What does Slim tell George might happen to Lennie if they bring him in?

He'll be locked up in a cage like an animal


What is Lennie's biggest fear?`

Not being allowed to take care of the rabbits