Adjectives - Small, Quick, Smart, Sharp strong features, Leader, Caring, Hard working, Honest
Appearance and relationship with Lennie - George is described as "Small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp features". George and Lennie have a great relationship "I got you to look after me and you got me to look after you". George and Lennie had to leave their last job in weed because of Lennie's fascination of "soft things" and touching a woman's "red dress". George used to tease Lennie for his disability and play tricks on him, but after nearly causing him to drown he never teased him again. They care for each other "We got somebody that gives a damn about us". Lennie can be a burden to George and George can get angry at him "You crazy son-of-a-*****. You keep me in hot water all the time". George tells Lennie to "hide in the brush" if he gets in trouble, this stays with Lennie throughout the novel.
Curley's Wife and Curley - When George meets Curley he immediately dislikes him, he is "tense" around him and is worried about what "he's got against Lennie". Candy tells George that Curley is "handy", but George reminds the reader how "strong and quick" Lennie is and how he "don't know no rules". George shows foresight into the fight between Lennie and Curley later on in the novel. George makes it obvious that he doesn't like "mean little guys". Candy tells George that Curley's got "worse lately" since he "married... A tart". Candy gossips that Curley wears a glove on his left hand that's "fully vaseline", George's honest reply "that's a dirty thing to tell around" shows that George is a private and trustworthy person. George tells Lennie to keep away from Curley and never speak to him and also calls Curley's Wife a "tramp", a "*****", "poison", "jail bait" and "a rat trap if I ever seen one".
Candy joining 'The Dream' - George and Lennie's dream is to "live offa the fatta the lan'". Lennie forgets a lot of things but can recall the dream word for word, showing how much the dream means to him. George lets Candy join the dream after he offers "three hundred an' fifty bucks". For the first time, George honestly believes the dream is possible, he says "Jesus Christ! I bet we could swing her". George says he will write to the "old people that owns the place" and send a hundred dollars to "bind her". George is in charge of the dream and Lennie and Candy follow his instructions.
Shooting Lennie - George decides to shoot Lennie himself as he doesn't want him to be tortured by Curley or the men. He wants Lennie to die happy thinking of the dream. Reference to Candy's dog "I ought to of shot that dog myself". George encourages Lennie to repeat the dream so he dies happily and oblivious to what George has done. Steinbeck calls George's hand "the hand". This depersonalises the killing, perhaps taking some of the responsibility off George. George's pain is evident as his hand "shook violently as he tried to steady the gun". Slim assures George he made the right decision "You hadda, George, I swear you hadda". George is lonely like the other lonely ranch workers he used to feel sympathy for.
Adjectives - Big, Limited intelligence, Trusting, Forgetful, Childlike, Obsessive, Nice fella, Strong, Loving
Appearance and relationship with George - Lennie is described as the opposite to George, "a huge man, shapeless of face, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws". Steinbeck compares Lennie to 3 animals throughout the novel - a bear, a horse and a bull. Lennie is obsessed with petting "soft things" like the mouse George made him throw away. This is also why they had to leave Weed, due to Lennie touching a girl's "red dress". Lennie is completely oblivious to his strength, he kills mice just by petting them. Lennie and George have a great relationship "We got somebody that gives a damn about us". Lennie can be a burden to George, but Lennie can manipulate George into getting his own way, by threatening to "find a cave". George tells Lennie to "hide in the brush" if he gets in trouble. This stays with him throughout the novel. Lennie is obsessed with his dream of "tending the rabbits".
Fight with Curley - George tells Lennie to keep away from Curley and never speak to him. Lennie is immediately scared of Curley and wants to leave the ranch "Le's get outta here. It's mean here". The reader feels sympathy for Lennie as Curley is described as a "terrior" when he starts on Lennie. Lennie looks to George for help and tries to retreat, but Curley will not let it go. Steinbeck repeats Lennie's innocence "too frightened to defend himself". The repetition of terror is important as it shows Lennie's childlike nature and his soft heart. Lennie does not react until George tells him to "Get 'im". George has control over Lennie and he leaves Curley "Flopping like a fish". Curley "stood crying, his fist lost in Lennie's paw", but Lennie was frightened and in a state of shock so can't let go of Curley's "closed fist". Slim says "Looks like ever' bone in his han' is bust", Slim protects George when he suggests Curley "Got his hand caught in a machine". Lennie's innocence is shown when he says "I didn't wanta hurt him."
Killing Curley's Wife - Lennie has just killed his pup and is scared Curley's wife will see the dead pup, George will not let him "tend the rabbits" because he has "done another bad thing". Lennie tells Curley's Wife he cannot talk to her because "George says". Curley's wife opens up to Lennie about her dream of being in "pitchers". She listens to Lennie's fascination of "soft things", then encourages Lennie to touch her "soft and fine" hair. Lennie grips her her tightly and is too scared to let go, Curley's wife becomes angry. She screams and frightens Lennie as he is worried George will get "mad". Steinbeck shows Lennie's power "She struggled violently under his hands", he kills her "For Lennie had broken her neck". Steinbeck uses animal imagery to describe Lennie "he pawed up the hay", perhaps showing his basic animal instinct of protection.
Lennie's Death - Steinbeck describes how "from out of Lennie's head" Aunt Clara and then an imaginary "gigantic rabbit" lecture Lennie on his stupidly and treatment of George. This may be how Lennie tries to cope with his mental weakness, as he is obviously aware of the burden he has put on George. Lennie is scared that George is mad at him. Throughout the novel Lennie looks up to George, and this is evident until the end "Jesus Christ, Lennie! You can't remember nothing that happens, but you remember ever' word I say". George encourages Lennie to repeat the dream so he dies happy and oblivious. George takes off his hat and asks Lennie to do the same, he does this "dutifully". Lennie is completely unaware George has to kill him, he dies believing the dream is possible. His last words are "Le's do it now. Le's get that place now".
Adjectives - Flirtatious, Lonely, Bored, Unhappy, Ambitious, Isolated, Friendless, Angry, Nameless, Curley's possession
First impressions of her and her first appearance - Candy gossips about Curley's Wife to George and Lennie and informs them and the reader that she is a "tart". He also suggests that she is disloyal to her husband because she has been "married two weeks and got the eye". She appears in the bunkhouse and she has "full, rouged lips", "heavily made up" eyes, "red fingernails" and "red mules on the insteps of which were little bouquets of red ostrich feathers". She is isolated - the only female around and also by being the sort of woman who would not fit in easily on a hard-working ranch. She is friendless and never given a name; she is labelled 'Curley's Wife', something belonging to him, his possession. This is the first of several visits to the bunkhouse, suggesting she is lonely and bored, not having any family or friends for company. She always claims she is "looking for Curley", but she is clearly looking for company. The men know that as Curley's wife she is too dangerous to befriend, George has to teach this to Lennie, "You leave her be".
Men gossip about her - Whit tells George that "she ain't concealin' nothin'", the men think she is flirtatious and Slim says "She got the eye goin' all the time on everybody". George views her presence on the ranch as dangerous "ranch with a bunch of guys on it ain't no place for a girl, specially like her". The man fail to see her loneliness and isolation, having no company other than Curley. Whit says that she is constantly "looking for Curley" and George sees her as a threat to the men on the ranch "She's a jail bait all set on the trigger".
In Crooks' room - Curley's Wife remarks "They left all the weak ones here". Though she knows Curley has gone to the cat house, she asks if he is there; clearly she is lonely. She announces her isolation to the men "Think I don't like to talk to somebody ever' once in a while? Think I like to stick in that house alla time?". She confides in them how much she dislikes Curley, saying sarcastically "Swell guy, ain't he?". She explains her dream about being famous, but she lashes out at them as they don't want her to talk to them. She calls them a "bunch of bindle stiffs" and that she is only there because "They ain't nobody else". Before leaving, she turns on Crooks who is the only person lower than her on the ranch hierarchy because he is black. She threatens to have him lynched if he doesn't show her respect, "Listen ******", "You know what I can do to you if you open your trap".
In the barn with Lennie - She pleads "I never get to talk to nobody". As she realises she can talk to Lennie, she says she only married Curley to get away from home and he "ain't a nice fella". Her dream that she could have been a film star only isolates her more; her real world is lonely and miserable. She dreams of the "nice clothes" and "big hotels" that she imagines the life of a famous person would include. Lenny begins to stroke her hair when they talk about how it's pleasurable to stroke soft things. She asks him to stop because he'll mess up her hair, probably beginning to feel uncomfortable. Lennie panics and breaks her neck by accident. He gets angry with her, blaming her for the fact that he will get into trouble.
How she is described in death and how the men react to her - When Curley's body is described, she seems more at peace dead, than alive, "And the meanness and the plannings and the discontent and the ache for attention were all gone from her face." Her innocence and naivety is shown when she is described as "pretty and simple" and "sweet and young". It really emphasises the meanness and loneliness of the ranch for a woman and when the men are brought into the barn by Candy, it reveals the reality of her unhappy marriage to Curley. Curley doesn't stay with his wife's body and he shows her no affection or love, he is intent on revenge. Curley saw her as his possession and the fact that someone murdered something that belonged to him angers him. He shows no real feeling towards his wife. Even after her death Candy is bitter towards Curley's wife and speaks to her in an aggressive manner "You god damn tramp". The only person on the ranch who is shown to be compassionate and caring is Slim, "One lean finger touched her cheek".
Adjectives - Aggressive, Possessive, Egotistical, Sexist, Small, Angry, Frustrated, Unhappy, Jealous, Argumentative, Violent
George and Lennie meet Curley - Curley comes into the bunkhouse wearing "high heeled boots" like his father. Perhaps they make him look taller since he's a small man. They also make him different from the rest of the ranch workers since he's the boss' son. His body language suggests he is wary of George and Lennie and is suspicious of anyone new. He steps "gingerly close" to Lennie because he is a big man and with "his hands closed into fists". He tries to intimidate the men. He is aggressive to Lennie when he doesn't answer him "Nex' time you answer when you're spoke to".
The men gossip about Curley - Curley leaves the bunkhouse and George is angry at Curley's treatment of Lennie "What the hell's he got on his shoulder?" Candy tells George that Curley is "handy" and "scrappy", he tells them that he enjoys picking fights and probably dislikes Lennie because of his size, "He hates big guys... He's mad at 'em because he ain't a big guy." Candy tells George that the men on the ranch dislike him and his behaviour but he "won't ever get canned 'cause his old man's the boss". George makes it clear that he dislikes Curley "I don't like mean little guys". Candy gossips about Curley's relationship with his wife, "seems like Curley is cockier 'n ever since he got married". George thinks he is showing off his new wife, wanting to prove how the other men are fearful of him. George becomes even more disgusted with Curley when he is told he wears a "glove fulla vaseline" on his left hand to keep it soft for his wife, Curley shows a lack of respect for his wife, treating her like a trophy.
His fight with Lennie - Curley and Slim come into the bunkhouse arguing over Curley's Wife. Slim is annoyed that Curley keeps asking him where his wife is. Curley backs down, obviously afraid of Slim. Curley tries to vent out his anger in Carlson, but he won't be intimidated "You come for me an' I'll kick your god damn head off". Curley now tries to take his anger out on Lennie, because he thinks he is less likely to fight back. He accuses Lennie of laughing at him and punches him in the face. Slim threatens to jump in himself, calling Curley a "dirty little rat". The men see Curley's behaviour as unjust; he fights unfairly, targeting those he believes are the weakest. On George's say so, Lennie fights back and crushes Curley's hand. Curley is described as a "flopping little man". Curley agrees to Slim's idea that he got his hand caught in a machine; he doesn't want people to know he was injured by Lennie and would see this as embarrassing and a sign of weakness.
The discovery of his Wife's body - The men, including Curley, are told to come to the barn by Candy. They discover Curley's Wife's body. Curley doesn't check to see if she is alive, it is Slim who checks for a pulse. Curley responds angrily and immediately blames Lennie, "That big son-of-a-***** done it". He wants to take the law into his own hands and "shoot 'im in the guts". Perhaps he is angry someone would dare take something that belonged to him, his wife, his possession. Curley shows no sign of sadness of grief over the loss of his wife, just rage. Slim also comments that Curley is still mad about what Lennie did to his hand; this is a perfect oppurtunity to get revenge. When Slim suggests it may be better for Curley to remain with his wife while they find Lennie, he refuses, only intent on killing Lennie, "I'm gonna get 'im".
Adjectives - Eaves-dropper, A gossip, Lonely, Disabled, Bullied, Desperate, Old, Weak, The swamper
Meeting George and Lennie - He meets George and Lennie and shows them the bunkhouse before they meet the boss. He is old and lost his hand on the ranch so is the "swamper". He persuades George and Lennie to stay, despite the "grey-backs" and fills them in on life in the ranch. He tells them that the boss is "a pretty nice fella" because he gave them a gallon of whiskey at Christmas but he has a bad temper, which he takes out on Crooks. He gossips about how the men go into Soledad to "raise hell" but he isn't invited because "I ain't got the poop no more". He is left out of the group, seen as too old to join in. He is lonely. After the boss leaves the men, George accuses Candy of eaves-dropping. He gossips about Curley and his wife, who is giving Slim and Carlson "the eye" and how Curley is a strong fighter. Steinbeck uses Candy to inform the reader about the politics on the ranch and who is who through his gossip. We learn that Candy has an "ancient dog" that follows him around. This is his companion on the ranch.
Doesn't want his dog shot - Slim, Carlson, Lennie, George, Candy and the ranch workers are in the bunkhouse. Carlson pressurises Candy into having his dog shot because it smells and is too old. Candy is proud of his dog "he was the best damn sheep dog I ever seen" and tries to put Carlson off. He is weak and easily bullied by the strong Carlson. In desperation, he tries to reason but he knows that Slim's decision will be the final decision. In a desperate plea, he suggests "Maybe it'd hurt him" but nobody supports him. He suggests that they wait until the next day but Carlson's persistence wins. "He did not look down at the dog" as it was taken away in fear of crying or showing emotion in front of the men. When they hear the gun shot "he rolled slowly over and faced the wall and lay silent". We feel pity and sympathy for Candy who has been bullied and has lost his only companion.
Wanting to join the dream - George and Lennie are in the bunkhouse. They do not realise that Candy is still lying on his bed. Candy wants to join in their plans to buy and live on the farm that George and Lennie are planning to buy. He offers to give the men his savings, wages and compensation money which is enough to pay 75% of the asking price. This shows how desperate he is to get away from the ranch and how lonely he is. He feels lonely and sees this as a way to make friends, especially now he has lost his dog. "I'd make a will an' leave my share to you guys in case I kick off, 'cause I ain't got no relatives nor nothing", this indicates how isolated he is. He doesn't even know the men but is willing to give everything to them. He shows the plight of ranch workers who grew old "I won't have no place to go, an I can't get no more jobs". His future on the ranch is bleak.
Finding Curley's Wife - Candy finds her in the barn and immediately informs George quietly. He agrees to follow George's instructions. He sees himself as George and Lennie's friend now when asking "What we gonna do now, George..." His reaction also shows how loyal he is to George and Lennie as he sees it as his problem too. He is most concerned about their plan for their farm which needed all 3 of them. He blames Curley's Wife for her own death and how it will probably prevent them from fulfilling their dream "You done it... You lousy tart". He repeats the words that George says to Lennie "An' they'd of been a pig and chickens..." Following this, he cries because he realises that his dream of companionship and freedom have been taken away from him. Finally, he is instructed by Curley to stay with his wife's body while they hunt Lennie. This shows how he is seen as the weak, old and useless worker.
Adjectives - Black, Cripple, Polite, Isolated, Proud, Admirable, Lonely, Cruel, Knows his place, A realist, Jealous, Vengeful, Bitter, Pessimistic, Educated
Candy gossips about Crooks - Candy tells George that Crooks is a "nice fella". Candy doesn't use his name but refers to him as "the stable buck" and "the ******". Crooks is not allowed into the bunkhouse because of his skin colour. Candy explains how Crooks was allowed into the bunkhouse at Christmas and how he was in a fight with Smitty. Did they lure Crooks in for entertainment? We learn that: Because Crooks is black, he is isolated from everyone else; however some of the men show hints of kindness which would have been unusual for that time. To a degree some of the men envy Crooks because he has his own living space. Crooks is often offended by what is said to him and he keeps himself to himself (often through no choice of his own). His name is not used, the man just shouts "stable buck", we learn again that Crooks is not equal.
Crooks comes to the door of the bunkhouse - Crooks tells Slim that the tar is ready to be put onto the mule's foot. We learn that Crooks is polite, "Mr Slim". He offers to help Slim and shows a lot of respect which is probably a reflection of the way Slim treats him. He offers more help by warning Slim that Lennie, "the big guy", is messing with the pups. Crooks appears confident when talking to Slim whereas he would shy away from many others.
Crooks is joined by Lennie in his room - Description of Crooks and his surroundings, e.g. civil code, shotgun, dictionary, etc. He can read and also has "accumulated more possessions than he could carry", more than others. "A proud, aloof man", the room is very need and tidy and he keeps his distance (a proud man). Crooks is reluctant to let Lennie in, Lennie has no right and Crooks is very aware of his limited rights. Crooks realises that Lennie is weaker than him and that he is no threat to him. Finally he invites Lennie to sit, probably because he is lonely. Crooks exposes his past and his feelings about how he has been treated as a black person and his anger grows. He realises that Lennie is simple minded, "you're nuts", as he talks of the rabbits and the dream. Crooks plays a cruel game on Lennie, he suggests that George may not return and relishes Lennie's anxiety and upset. "A guy gets too lonely and he gets sick", Crooks admits his loneliness only when he sees Lennie's innocence.
Lennie, Candy and Curley's Wife in his room - Crooks dismisses Lennie's dream "nobody gets no land". His attitude towards Lennie shows that he has a cruel streak and takes his feelings out on Lennie because he thinks that Lennie is weaker than him. Candy comes into the room looking for Lennie and Crooks finds out about their plans for the farm. He asks to join when he realises Candy has the money. This shows that Crooks is a realist. Curley's Wife enters and for a while Crooks and Candy join forces against her. She insults them, "bindle stiffs", and they eventually back down. Crooks returns to "the protective dignity of the negro". Crooks becomes angry with her and stands up to her. She threatens to frame him and have him "strung up on a tree". This shows us that Crooks is not afraid to stand up for himself but he is a realist and knows his place in society. He knows the harm Curley's Wife can cause him.
Adjectives - Confident, Leader, Understanding, Wise, Authoritative, Sensitive, Friendly, Clever, Gentle
Slim meets George and Lennie - The boss first describes Slim as "a big tall skinner" giving him a sense of importance. "He moved with a majesty only achieved by royalty", "the prince of the ranch". Everyone trusts him and when he meets George and Lennie, he looks "kindly" and he speaks "gently". Slim is very welcoming, "I hope you are on my team". Slim is impressed by the way George compliments Lennie. He is very friendly and invites honesty. It is clear that he is respected as Carlson steps back to allow Slim to walk in front of him. George tells Slim about being run out of Weed because of what Lennie did, George obviously trusts him.
Candy's dog - When Carlson wants to get rid of Candy's dog, Candy defends until Slim agrees that the dog is too old. They trust Slim's decisions "Slim's opinions were law". Candy looks at Slim intensely to see if he will change his mind. Slim is almost like a father figure to the lonely men on the ranch. Slim instructs Carlson to take a shovel, "you know what to do". He wants to spare Candy the trauma of seeing his dead dog. Slim is kind to Candy and offers him one of his pups. Crooks addresses him as Mr Slim but Slim doesn't take advantage of this, he is respectful of Crooks.
Curley's Hand - Curley, despite being the boss' son, apologises to Slim for accusing him of being with his wife. "You lay offa me", Slim is not afraid of Curley. When Curley attacks Lennie, Slim wants to step in "that dirty little rat". This gives George the confidence to tell Lennie to attack Curley. Slim is shocked at Lennie's strength when he sees the damage done to Curley's hand but he still consoles Lennie and tells him it was not his fault. Slim convinces Curley to agree to pretend that he got his hand caught in a machine, he warns Curley that people will laugh at him if they know the truth. Slim has power over people which he earns through his kindness.
Curley's Wife's body - When the men surround the dead body of Curley's Wife, Slim takes charge of the situation. He feels her wrist, touches her cheek and feels her neck - the only person to check her. Slim appears to know what he is doing. He speaks quietly to George about how Lennie probably did kill her, he is very calm. Slim convinces George that they have got to go to Lennie. Slim tries to help George and to reason with him about the best way to handle the situation. Slim suggests that Curley should stay with his wife because it is the right thing to do and to keep him away from Lennie. Slim is the only character who appears to think of Curley's Wife as a human being.
After George shoots Lennie - Slim is the first on the scene when George shoots Lennie. Slim's importance to the novel is highlighted when his voice is the first to be heard following Lennie's death. Slim sits "very close" to George in an attempt to comfort him showing that he understood their companionship and why George did what he did. "Never you mind" and "a guy got to sometimes". Slim is affectionate and caring and he "twitched" George's elbow to coax him to come away from the spot. Slim invites George for a drink and reassures him saying "You hadda George, I swear you hadda". He leads George away which shows the bond they have developed and also the level of responsibility Slim feels for everything that happened.
REMEMBER TO ANSWER THE QUESTION AND KEEP REPEATING THE KEY WORDS OF THE QUESTION TO GET THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE GRADE
REMEMBER TO REFER TO THE SOCIAL, CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF THE NOVEL
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- Thread Starter
- 17-05-2015 22:16
- 17-05-2015 22:47
This was so helpful, thankss loads!: )
- 17-05-2015 22:52
exactly what i needed
- 17-05-2015 23:03
If anyone wants notes PM me with your email address and I'll send them to you
- 17-05-2015 23:20
Thanks man that was very insightful
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- 18-05-2015 01:08
Thanks very helpful