Of Mice and Men Characters

Characters from Of Mice and Men

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  • Created by: Nikki
  • Created on: 10-11-11 19:34


  • Key points about George:
    • he's loyal to Lennie
    • he has no problems when he's on his own
    • he is a realistic character
    • he is pretty aggressive
    • he's good at reading people
    • the dream keeps him going
  • He is:
    • loyal: "I want you to stay with me Lennie."
    • pessimistic: "I think I knowed from the very first. I think I knowed we'd never do her."
    • caring: "I ain't gonna let 'em hurt Lennie."
  • Destiny
    • For George the dream is about being in charge of his own destiny
  • He's just an ordinary guy in a normal situation which makes it easier for the reader to identify with him and to understand why he does things
  • Loneliness
    • lonely men "get mean" (George), the only thing stopping him from getting like that is Lennie
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  • Key points about Lennie:
    • he's a huge grown man, but he is very childlike
    • he identifies with animals
    • he's dependent on George in both body and mind
    • he has moments of cleverness
    • he's a killer...
    • ...but the reader feels sorry for him
  • He is:
    • childlike: "He's jes' like a kid".
    • strong: "Strong as a bull."
    • like an animal: "Lennie covered his face with his huge paws and bleated with terror."
  • Destiny:
    • his violence gets worse throughout the book. This gives the reader the impression that he's destined to seriously hurt someone one day
  • Slim says Lennie "ain't a bit mean". Slim's the most trusted character in the novel, so the reader is likely to end up agreeing that Lennie doesn't hurt anything or anyone on purpose.
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  • Key points about Slim:
    • he's an excellent and respected worker
    • he's there at key moments
    • he's the spiritual leader of the men
  • He is:
    • respected: "his word was taken on any subject".
    • mysterious: "understanding beyond thought".
    • Godlike: "calm Godlike eyes".
  • Prejudice:
    • Slim is the first character to call Crooks by his name instead of "******" or "stable buck". He treats him with more respect than the other characters do.
    • He seems to be the CONSCIENCE on the novel
  • Women
    • Slim isn't intimidated by Curley's wife. He gives her the attention she's so desperate for by commenting on her appearance. This also shows that he's not afraid of Curley.
  • He's practical and wise, but he's also sympathetic - he understands why George is so upset about Lennie
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  • Key points about Crooks:
    • only he has his own room
    • he's a victim of racism
    • he's a survivor but has little power in the ranch
  • He is:
    • proud: "a proud, aloof man"
    • cynical: "Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land."
    • vulnerable: "I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain't even funny."
  • Loneliness
    • Crooks hides his loneliness by being proud and aloof. He tries to show that it doesn't affect him, but Steinbeck makes it clear to the reader that it does
  • Prejudice
    • Steinbeck is showing how black people were usually treated in America in the 1930s
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  • Key points about Candy:
    • he seems harmless but he can be mean about people
    • he's frail and powerless, like his dog
    • he's always trying to kid himself
  • He is:
    • old: "lousy ol' sheep".
    • weak: "When they can me here I wisht somebody'd shoot me."
    • one-handed: "I ain't much good with on'y one hand."
  • Destiny:
    • Candy's an example of the depressing destiny that all the other, younger ranch hands face.
  • Prejudice:
    • Candy suffers prejudice because of his age and his disability
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  • Key points about Carlson:
    • he is insensitive
    • he is unsentimental and aggressive
  • He is:
    • aggressive: "You come for me, an' I'll kick your God damn head off."
    • insensitive: "Now what the hell ya supposed is eatin' them two guys?"
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  • Key points about Whit:
    • he is a young man destined for a life on the ranch
    • there are signs that he is already doomed
  • He is:
    • young: "A young laboring man".
    • fun-loving: "Well, a guy got to have some fun sometime".
  • Destiny
    • Whit represents what George could become without Lennie and their dream farm
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  • Key points about Curley
    • no one likes him
    • he's really jumpy
    • he isn't happily married
  • He is:
    • insecure: "You seen a girl around here?"
    • aggressive: "He's alla time picking scraps with big guys".
    • disliked: "This guy Curley sounds like a son-of-a-***** to me. I don't like mean guys."
  • Destiny
    • Curley's probably just as trapped in his life on the ranch as the other characters. Because he's the boss's son, he's destined to run it himself one day
  • Loneliness
    • Curley's just as lonely and isolated as the other characters. None of the bunk house men like him, nor does his wife
  • Women
    • Curley doesn't understand what his wife needs from him - love and attention
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Curley's Wife

  • Key points about Curley's wife:
    • the men have lot's to say about her
    • she's very attractive
    • she isn't happy on the ranch
    • she isn't named
  • She is:
    • pretty: "She's purty".
    • lonely: "I get awful lonely"
    • flirtatious: "She got the eye goin' all the time on everybody."
  • Women
    • She has always dreamed of being a movie star, but she never made it to Hollywood. She escaped from the control of her mother but ended up being controlled by her husband instead. This was what life was like for some women in the 1930s.
  • She represents danger in the novel
    • red
  • She isn't really mean, she is just a product of her situation
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