Who is lennie?
Lennie is an itinerant worker like george however has a child`s mind in a mans body. He is a simpleton in the fact that his mind has never learn to control his body. He has limited intelligence, so he relies on George to look after him. He copies George in everything George does and trusts George completely.
""Behind him (George) walked his opposite, a huge man, shapeless of face, with large, pale eyes, with wide, sloping shoulders; and he walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws. His arms did not swing at his sides, but hung loosely.""
He shares a dream with George to own a piece of land. Lennie's special job would be to tend the rabbits.
He likes to pet soft things, like puppies and dead mice. We know this got him into trouble in Weed when he tried to feel a girl's soft red dress: she thought he was going to attack her.
He can be forgetful - George continually has to remind him about important things.
He is very gentle and kind, and would never harm anyone or anything deliberately.
He is extremely strong: he can work as well as two men at bucking barley.
He is often described as a child or an animal - he drinks from the pool like a horse and his huge hands are described as paws
What is Candy like as a character?
Candy has lost his right hand in a farm accident and is now functionless and meaningless and now just has a job as being the swamper. He is too old to work because of this, he accepts what goes on and doesn't challenge anything: he can't afford to lose his job.
He has a very old dog, which he has had from a pup. It is his only friend and companion.
""The old man came slowly into the room. He had his broom in his hand. And at his heels there walked a drag-footed sheep dog, gray of muzzle, and with pale, blind old eyes.""
Carlson insists on shooting the dog because he claims it is too old and ill to be of any use. Candy is devastated.
He is lonely and isolated, but makes friends with George and Lennie and offers his compensation money to help them all to buy a ranch together and achieve their dream.
When he finds Curley's wife dead, he is furious, as he knows instantly that Lennie was involved and that they have lost their chance of achieving their dream.
Who is Curley`s wife?
She is newly married to Curley.
We never know her name - she is merely Curley's 'property' with no individual identity.
She is young, pretty, wears attractive clothes and curls her hair.
She seems flirtatious and is always hanging around the bunk-house.
She is lonely - there are no other women to talk to and Curley is not really interested in her.
""What kinda harm am I doin' to you? Seems like they ain't none of them cares how I gotta live. I tell you I ain't used to livin' like this. I coulda made somethin' of myself.""
She doesn't like Curley - she tells Lennie that she only married him when she didn't receive a letter she'd been promised to get into Hollywood.
She is naive.
who is crooks?
Crooks is the black stable hand or buck.
He is the only permanent employee at the ranch, since he injured his back in an accident. His back gives him constant pain.
He is the only black man around and is made to be isolated by his colour - he can't go into the bunk-house or socialise with the men.
He is always called the '******' by the men, which shows how racism is taken for granted. The men don't mean to insult Crooks every time they call him this, but they never think to use his name
All this has made him proud and aloof. He is lonely.
""S'pose you didn't have nobody. S'pose you couldn't go into the bunk house and play rummy 'cause you were black... A guy needs somebody - to be near him... I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick.""The only time he mixes with the ranch hands socially is when they pitch horseshoes - and then he beats everyone! He has his own room near the stables and has a few possessions. He has books, which show he is intelligent and an old copy of the California Civil Code, which suggests he is concerned about his rights.
He has seen many men come and go, all dreaming of buying a piece of land, but is now cynical, as no one has ever achieved it.