Of Mice and Men Characters



  • Parent - child relationship with Lennie (in which he's the parent)
    • "Good boy"
  • Kills Lennie because it's the kindest thing, not because he wanted to
    • "His hand  shook"      " 'You hadda, George. I swear you hadda' "
  • Cares about Lennie
    • "I want you to stay with me"     "I never seen one guy take so much trouble for another guy"
  • Doesn't really believe in the dream, but carries it for the rest of them (especially Lennie)
    • "I think I knowed we'd never do her"
  • Can be misogynistic
    • "She's gonna make a mess"     "Been any trouble since she got here?"
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  • He's seen as one of the 'weak' characters
    • "Lennie smiled helplessly in an attempt to make friends"
  • Very very strong (Kills mice, the puppy, and Curley's Wife)
    • "And he shook her; and her body flopped like a fish. And then she was still"
  • Has a parent-child relationship with George in which he's the child
    • "I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you"
  • Immature and childish
    • " 'He's jes' like a kid, ain't he?' "
  • Looks up to George - copies and respects him
    • "Lennie imitated him, raising his head to see whether he were doing it right"
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  • Doesn't like those who he perceives to be more powerful than him
    • " 'Curley's like a lot of little guys. He hates big guys' "
  • Violent (he hits Lennie and his wife)
    • "His hands closed into fists"    "Curley lashed his body around"
  • Wants to be respected
    • "Like the boss, he wore high-heeled boots"
  • Cruel
    • " 'Curley says he's keepin' that hand soft for his wife' "
  • Feels superior to everyone else
    • "Curley looked threateningly about the room"  
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  • Very kind
    • "His voice was very gentle"   " 'Oh! Sure, crooks' "
  • Respected by everyone
    • " 'Slim don't need to wear no high-heeled boots on a grain team' "
  • Understands things
    • " 'Maybe ever'body in the whole damn world is scared of each other' "
  • Almost God-like (religious symbolism of novel)
    • "There was a gravity in his manner and a quiet so profound that all talk stopped when he spoke. His authority was so great that his word was taken on any subject, be it politics or love"   "His hatchet face was ageless"   "Slim looked through George and beyond him"   "George's voice was taking on the tone of confession"
  • Caring
    • " 'You hadda, George. I swear you hadda' "
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  • Could be seen as the weakest character
    • "I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain't even funny"
  • Has a very negative experience of life, what with racism and segregation
    • "They let the ****** come in that night"
  • Lonely
    • "A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody"
  • Intelligent
    • "And he had books, too; a tattered dictionary and a mauled copy of the California civil code for 1905"    "You got no right to come in my room"
  • Realistic and grounded
    • "Nobody ever gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land"
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Curley's Wife

  • Seen as one of the 'weak'  characters
    • " She was very pretty and simple, and her face was sweet and young"
  • Doesn't like Curley
    • " 'Sure I gotta husban'. You all seen him. Swell guy, ain't he?' "
  • Victim of misogyny (No name)
    • "The rectangle of sunshine in the doorway was cut off"
  • Lonely
    • " 'Think I don't like to talk to somebody ever' once in a while?' ""
  • Holds on to her dream until the very end
    • " 'I coulda made somethin' of myself' "   " 'Maybe I will yet'"
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  • Seen as one of the 'weak' characters
    • " 'Nobody'd listen to you an' you know it' "
  • Wants somewhere to retire to and die happily
    • " 'I won't have no place to go' "
  • When his dog gets shot, it foreshadows Lennie's death - relationship parallels
    • " 'Well, you ain't bein' kind to him keepin' him alive' "   " 'I ought to of shot that dog myself' "
  • Lonely
    • "Candy spoke his greatest fear"     "He just sets in the bunkhouse sharpening his pencil and sharpening and figuring"
  • Physically weak
    • "A round stick-like wrist, but no hand"
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