"Of Mice and Men" Character Profile- Carlson and Whit

A charcter analysis of Carlson and Whit, two protagonists of the novel "Of Mice and Men"

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Character profile- Carlson and Whit
Carlson and Whit are more minor characters. Carlson is unsentimental and aggressive,
and he convinces Candy to let him shoot his dog. Whit is naïve and enthusiastic- he likes
simple pleasures.
Carlson is Mr Insensitive
Carlson doesn't consider anyone's feelings. He thinks Candy's dog should be shot
because it's old and smelly. He thinks Candy could have one of Slim's puppies
instead. He can't see that Candy might have an emotional attachment to his dog.
After he's shot the dog, he doesn't apologise to Candy and cleans his gun in full
view of everyone.
He doesn't understand why George and Slim seem upset at the end of the novel.
He sees Lennie's death as practical and he doesn't feel any emotions about it-
Lennie had to be killed and he was.
He's quick to pick a fight with Curley. He calls him "yella as a frog belly2 and a "God
damn punk".
Carlson is...
o Aggressive: "You come for me, an' I'll kick you God damn head off"
o Insensitive: "Now what the hell ya suppose is eatin' them two guys?"
Whit is a young man destined for a life on the ranch
Whit's a fun guy- which is why his name sounds like `wit'.
He's not bitter about ranch life. The reader knows he'll probably turn into a sad old
figure like Candy, but Whit isn't aware of this.
Whit plays cards with George, but as soon as they get talking, he's "not interested"
in the game anymore- which shows that he's lonely on the ranch and is desperate
for company and friendship.
Whit is...
o Young: "A young labouring man"
o Fun-Loving: "Well, a guy got to have some fun sometime"
There are signs that Whit is already doomed
In some ways Whit's already been tainted by the harsh ranch life. Life already
seems to be weighing him down- it's as if he's carrying an "invisible grain bag".
He's sad and nostalgic about the departed Bill Tenner.
He knows all about and recommends "old Susy's" brothel, going into quite a bit of
detail. He has no ambitions- he's already wasting his money on girls and drink.
Whit represents what George could become without Lennie and their dream farm.


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