Of Mice And Men Characters

mice and men

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The Characters








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The most important TWO characters in Of Mice and Men (OMAM)



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-Quick witted and intelligent – moral person – responsible for Lennie = brought him to farm to look after him. -Dreams of owning a small farm – he often says that he wishes he could own his farm that Lennie knows the speech off my heart -  but as they have to move around to ranch to ranch so Lennie does not get himself into trouble. = but has to look after Lennie so cant get the farm and when he kill Lennie makes the greatest sacrifice of loosing his best friend AND when L dies so does the dream -Very keen to change the routine (boring) of his present situation -Aware of the low expectations and aimless lifestyle of the average travelling farm worker. -Looks after Lennie, partly out of pity, affection and partly for companionship. Steinbeck presents George and Lennie as 2 half's. One is strong and other is weak. -Represents the head and intelligence of the pair, while Lennie is the body. Lennie is many ways Georges shadow.

George is not entirely blameless for Lennie’s disastrous end

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-He knows how Lennie behaves and when they arrive at the ranch senses feelings of Curley and his wife. -One night even leaves Lennie behind, George ignores these danger signals as his need for a farm distracts him. -He is quick, precise, worries about doing things and cautious. -Slim says about him ‘ smart little guy’ -He protects Lennie but Lennie also protects him. Who would fight George if they knew they had to fight Lennie as well -He is a good judge of other peoples characters – examples of this slim is a good man and Curleys wife bringing trouble -Clean man partially because he wants to save his money for his farm AND cannot waste money in the brothel or pool room. BUT also appalled by Lennie drinking ‘scummy water’ and appalled  by thought of somebody leaving lice in the bedding of his bunk.      

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Childlike shows signs or maturity, slow, clumsy and easygoing but suffers because of his thoughtless behavior.

Great physical strength

Described like a bear like animal – innocence and strength – metaphor/simile – bear good as it is a strong but is innocent

No awareness of morality – which means the ordinary values of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ are difficult to attribute to him

Pets small animals – he has deep-rooted emotional needs which he may not understand – doesn’t understand its him killing the animals – need for physical contact

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Beginning is naïve and innocent but by the end has fallen from grace ( committed murder) he is deprived from his dream of the farm.

Doesn’t learn from past experiences – killing the pup = Curly’s wife and drinks the green pool which he was sick from the night before

Believes everything George tells him – and hates it when George tells him off Forgets what happens and thinks it is a joke – giggled-

Both a victim and a symbol – not his fault that he was born with mental problems. – symbol of a world which not just or fair    

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Stable buck = tend the horses, crippled, pained and proud and black

He is a literate black cripple who tends horses on the ranch = double Burden not only black ( treated as inferior to whites also partially disabled and so treated badly. = cant produce a service. 

Everyone treats crooks with no respect and are very racist towards him

He is very lonely and rejects any friendship or companionship

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The loss of his hand stresses the casual violence of the ranch-workers lives

He is given a room of his own, in which he always works and has a manure heap just outside the window.

‘Nice fella’ according to Candy.


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Small, unpleasant, jealous, unfaithful and cruel

He is small man and seems to have developed an inferiority complex as a result.= doesn’t think he is as good as everyone else, makes up for his size, like a yappy Yorkshire Terrier

He is always looking for his wife and is humiliated by his wife's apparent dissatisfaction and unhappiness = she is a bit like a prize to him

He was a professional fighter but he fights very unfairly

He takes advantages of those who are weak

He hates tall people

He likes making other people suffer in a huge amount of damage and pain

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Curley's wife

Flirtatious, lonely, misunderstood and a dreame

Never named seen as a symbol of other things by the other characters.

Seen as Curleys wife, temptress, sex object and a piece of ********* ( touch her, end up in jail)

Even though she is married she flaunts herself around the ranch, in inappropriate clothing, flirting with the ranch hands ( men) Very conscious of the effect this has on the men.

Her dreams the better more fulfilling life based on glossy film magazines and cheap chat up lines. Her ambition to work in films stems from her to be admired. This wish is partially routed in vanity and partially in her insecurity and loneliness. this is brought about by her husbands behavior.

We don’t know how far she would with the men if she was given the chance. As the only encounter is with Lennie in the barn. nher general posture and conduct is full of sensual promise.

Flirt, bad news. 

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One handed, pathetic, subservient, stooped and devoted to his dog. nLoses his dog – his own companion – lonely

Gives him a new beginning when he hears about the dream with George and Lennie – gets excited ‘ grinning with delight’ doesn’t take much to give him self respect.

Lost a hand in farm accident - this is one way Steinbeck shows that it was dangerous work at the time of the novel – ranch workers life's were dangerous –and now can only be the cleaner or swamper on the ranch

old, infirm ( not well) and weak

Stands up to Curley in the fight and tells Curleys wife what he thinks of her in each case his defiance is short living but makes us realize what he might have been like when he was younger and how pathetic he is now.

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Honest, dignified, gifted, conscience of novel an aristocratic

He shows a natural authority with a gentleness and friendliness which contrasts the pervasive violence that shapes the lives of the other characters

Represent strong moral force in novel

Steinbeck's descriptions of slim suggest an idealized characterization: majesty, royalty, prince and authority.

Slim is the only person who understands George and Lennie sticking together and understands why George has to kill Lennie and not anyone else. – quick at working out what the situation is.

He is intelligent like George and is someone whose self respect derives from the fact that he does what he is paid to do superbly. – drives the animals.

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- um  .. kakaka awkward turtles away

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