George Of Mice and Men AQA GCSE English Literature

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George Milton-An Introduction

  • George is one of the main characters in this novel.
  • He looks after his mentally challenged friend, Lennie.
  • The name George means landowner or famer, which relates to his american dream-he just wants to own his own plot of land.
  • He is rather unusual for the average migrant worker-he has a companion, a friend, which is something that is utterly foreign to people such as Carlson, as at the end he says "Now what the hell ya suppose is eatin' them two guys?"
  • George is not only with Lennie out of loyalty, to keep his promise to Lennie's Aunt Clara, but also out of companionship.
  • "dressed in denim trousers and in denim coats with brass buttons…wore black, shapeless hats and both carried tight blanket rolls slung over their shoulders.”
    • Description of a usual ranch worker
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Key Quote 1

  • "small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp, strong features. Every part of him was defined: small, strong hands, slender arms, a thin and bony nose.”
    • restless eyes-wary, reflecting the destruction of trust in the great depression due to the mass unemployment during this time.
    • For keeping an eye on Lennie as well-Lennie is childlike so he could disappear from sight easily.
  • "The little man jerked down the brim of his hat and scowled over at Lennie.”
    • Demonstrates his attitude towards Lennie. Lennie has a learning difficulty, and this relates to George’s frustration at Lennie. In the rest of the novel, it is evident that sometimes George isn’t very patient at all when it comes to Lennie, and that he isn’t very open; he covers up many of his feelings with anger.
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Key Quote 2

  • "if I was alone I could live so easy.”
    • Said near the beginning of a long rant; he has‘exploded’ due to Lennie sounding ungrateful that he has no ketchup to eat with his beans.
    • He wants at this point in time to be self-reliant and have ‘no trouble. No mess at all, and doesn’t want to be having to look after Lennie.
    • Due to the loneliness of migrant workers in this world; “guys like us are the loneliest guys in the world”, their new boss finds their relationship where one looks out for the other, completely foreign; “What stake you got in this guy? You takin’ his pay away from him?"
    • This is really darkly ironic because George really is left alone three days later when he kills his friend. “I could live so easy” is also quite ironic as it is due to Lennie’s death that George’s dream vaporises.
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Key Quote 3

  • “Course Lennie’s a God damn nuisance most of the time, but you get used to goin’ around with him and you can’t get rid of him”.
    • This almost sounds affectionate.
    • It is evident that George doesn’t want to ‘get rid of him’, which is also shown when George guiltily tries to convince Lennie not to leave- “No-look! I was jus’ foolin’, Lennie”, which also gives the image of George saying this desperately; he needs Lennie.
    • Life as a migrant worker is miserable; “After a long time they get mean.” This suggests that George believes that loneliness makes someone bitter and hardens their hearts. It shows that George also looks after Lennie for companionship.
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Key Quote 4

  • “Course Lennie’s a God damn nuisance most of the time, but you get used to goin’ around with him and you can’t get rid of him”.
    • This almost sounds affectionate.
    • It is evident that George doesn’t want to ‘get rid of him’, which is also shown when George guiltily tries to convince Lennie not to leave- “No-look! I was jus’ foolin’, Lennie”, which also gives the image of George saying this desperately; he needs Lennie.
    • Life as a migrant worker is miserable; “After a long time they get mean.” This suggests that George believes that loneliness makes someone bitter and hardens their hearts. It shows that George also looks after Lennie for companionship.
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Key Quote 5

  • “George spoke proudly".
    • It shows that the parent-child relationship between them doesn’t just exist for Lennie, but George also, as he is proud of him.
    • Lennie may not be able to contribute to helping George very much, but George could be very self-sufficient on his own and avoid getting into trouble.
  • “Looks kinda scummy."
    • Reflects the nature of life for many migrant workers, which is generally ‘kinda scummy’.
  • “In one month. Right squack in one month. Know what I’m gon’ta do? I’m gon’ta write to them old people that owns the place that we’ll take it."
    • George and Lennie’s previously seemingly unreachable dream has suddenly become a possibility.
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Key Quote 6

  • “George raised the gun and steadied it, and he brought the muzzle of it close to the back of Lennie’s head. The hand shook violently, but his face set and his hand steadied."
    • Final moments between George and Lennie.
    • George is doing what Candy wishes he had done for his dog- “I shouldn’t ought to of let no stranger shoot my dog.” This means that he wishes that he had been able to let his dog die without fear, in the presence of someone who loved him, and that the last words said to his dog should have been said by him, instead of Carlson. George saves Lennie the fear of being killed by Curley’s lynch mob, and allows Lennie to finally escape the cruel world where every person only looked out for themselves. Lennie dies thinking that he is about to go to finally achieve his American dream, and perhaps he only finds that in death.
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