Characters in Of Mice and Men

Lit exam

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"Jerkline skinner"- seen as the leader in the bunkhouse.

He commands respect from others.

The other men look up to him for the answer eg when Candy looks to him to see whether his dog should be shot.

Give Lennie a puppy.

Offers comfort for George after he's killed Lennie.

He is tactful and sympathetic- he draws George out of himself and then George confides in him.

He understands importance of companionship- people respect him, but that's not the same as having someone like George has Lennie.

Highly skilled- "Capable of killing a fly on a wheelers **** without touching the mule".

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He has lost his right had.

Age and physical weakness is emphasised from the start which makes him sound vulnerable and not seen for the benefits of his labour.

His relationship with his dog is like George and Lennie's. This is shown by the reasons that their loved ones were killed- they were killed for the best.

His relationship with his dog is a suggestion of loneliness, he is deeply attached to his dog and only puts it down as he has to.

He bys into the dream which shows that he is still able to hope- he is reluctant to accept that the dream is over once Lennie is shot.

"Stoop-shouldered old mad"- gives a sense of hopelessness.

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Curley and Carlson

Curley-  He tries to be slim and gain respect from others.

He is cowardly- he picks on Lennie as an easy target, he also says he "doesn't like big men".

He is lonely- even though he has a wife. He has no respect for his wife.

He is aggressive- he clenches his fist as if ready to fight when he first meets George and Lennie,


"Now what the hell ya suppose is eating them two guys?"- he cant understand whats bothering Slim and George.

He is tought and not affraid to stand up to curley.

He doesnt allow himself to dream and is unsensitive- he isnt bothered about Candys feelings for his dog, he is more worried about the smell.

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He is Lennie's friend and companion.

"Small and quick, dark of the face with relentless eyes"- suggesting intelligence and a strong personality, but some unhappiness.

He is frightened of being lonely- he doesn't want to end up like the "Guys that go around the ranches alone".

When it comes to killing Lennie, he doesn't want to, "his hands shook violently"- he doesnt want to lose his best friend and turn out like the "other guys".

"You keep away from Curley, Lennie"- he is a good judge of character and can sense danger.

George is the leader between him and Lennie- "one stayed behind the other down the path".

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"He walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws"- throughout the novel he is constantly referred to as being like animals, especially a bear.

Once he kills the dog and Curley's wife, they are said to be "flopping like a fish", like a bear always kills fish.

Lennie may be childlike, but he knows how to make George feel guilty.

The dream is the only thing that he can remember- the thing that keeps him going.

He is totally dependant on George and uses George to look up to for the answer.

He is tricky- "Lennie spoke craftily", "Lennie avoided the bait".

"I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you"- about their togetherness- what they get out of their relationship together and it explains that all they've got is each other.

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He is the "stable buck" for the ranch.

He is independent and intelligent.

He is a victim of racial prejudice.

He is intelligent- the only personal possession that he values is a pair of "Gold-rimmed glasses".

He takes care of his tools over his personal possessions- his job is all that he has.

He is not allowed to live in the bunkhouse with the other workers- he is not treated fairly and does not have an equal status, this makes him similar to Curleys wife.

Instead he has to live in a shed on the side of the barn which suggests it once was a tool shed before he came along.

He represents the racial prejudice there was in America at that time.

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Curley's Wife

She has no name as she belongs to Curley and is therefore labelled 'Curley's wife'.

If she was givern a name it would give us the impression that she was supposed to be important to someone.

No on has any respect for her as she is the only woman on the ranch which gives her an unequal status.

She symbolizes the lack of respect that women had in America at that time.

She is an outsider and is unable to be in anyone's life.The person who should let her in is Curley, but he doesn't seem to care.

She is innocent and fragile- seems like she was pushed into marriage when actually she wanted to try and live her dream.

She tries to get noticed by Curley with the things she wears and the way she stands, but it never seems to work.

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