of mice and men - key characters and their importance

key characters and their importance to the novel

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Key Characters






Curley's Wife


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George's Importance

behaviour - treats Lennie like a child

father figure

takes responsibilty for Lennie - that's why he kills him


loneliness - because of Lennie's lack of intelligence

dreams - doesn't really believe it - adds reality - intelligence

events - talking to slim (chapter 3)

tells reader of his and Lennie's relationship

killing Lennie - end of dream, end of story

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Curley's Importance


aggressive - short tempered - causes tension

"pugnacious" - likes conflict

animal imagery - "dirty little rat"

cocky, self assured - "high heeled boots"


dreams - ruined his wife's dream - "so I married Curley"

controls wife's life - "she looked apprehensively" - makes her lonely


unfriendly - "curley ain't giving nobody a chance."


goes to town looking for women - disrespectful to wife

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Curley's Wifes Importance

speech - "where's Curley?" - uses it as excuse to talk to men - causes trouble

behaviour - dresses/behaves innappropriately - "so that her body was pushed forwards"

causes trouble on the ranch - flirtacious - unloyal, has no respect

placement on ranch - no job, only female

shows how little respect women got at the time

relationship with others - no friends, gets ignored

not treated properly by Curley

themes - loneliness and dreams - only woman - Curley ruined dream 

uses dream to combat loneliness

events - Crooks' room - racism - racism at the time (threatens to get him hung)

interaction with G&L

4 of 8

Slim's Importance

behaviour - calm, collected, laid back - confident

speech - polite and well spoken


good to others

placement on ranch - has authority - doesn't demand it

respected and important - "high heeled boots"

relationships with others - friendly - first meeting George and Lennie

helpful - checking Curley's Wife pulse

understanding - with George about Lennie

themes - loneliness - travels alone, lost everyone

doesn't have a dream

5 of 8

Crook's Importance

behaviour - defensive, knows his place

interlectual - books on shelf

speech - doesn't talk unless told to - unless in comfort zone (barn)

situation - lives in fear - cautious - accused of everything

opinion won't matter 

danger of losing job - crippled, isolated, only black man

themes - loneliness - wants acceptance - wants better life

relationship with others - keeps himself to himself - used to being alone

cautious of others 

events - Lennie visits him - discuss dream - Crooks joins the dream

Curley's wife threatens him 

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Lennie's Importance

behaviour - child like - controlled by George - simple minded

very strong - unaware of how strong he is

speech - simple - rarely talks, doesn't want to get into trouble - only talks to someone if George says he can

relationship with others - travels with George - keeps himself to himself - doesn't talk to anyone - scared of making George angry - doesn't want to do the wrong thing

events - Crooks' room - talking to him about dreams

Curley's wifes death - killing the puppy and the mouse

themes - dreams - unrealistic "multicoloured rabbits" - don't come true

7 of 8

Candy's Importance

behaviour - keeps himself to himself 

useless - no longer wanted

speech - rarely talks to anyone - no one wants to talk to him (old and smelly) 

events - dogs killed - lost his only friend

relationship with others - no one talks to him - he's useless (old) - has no friends, only has his dog

themes - loneliness - only has his dog - which gets killed

shows societies views at the time - old people are useless

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Lydia Cunningham


really useful! thankyou luce!;)

Lucy Hunter


aw, glad it was of some help lyds!;)



Thanks really helpful, have you got any for inspector calls? :)

Maria Sloan


good enough hehe.

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