Of mice and men - characters

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Not many people had real friends in the American West in the 1930s - it was a case of every man for himself. That is one of the reasons why the story of George and Lennie's unusual friendship is so poignant. They have each other. No one else in the novel is so lucky.

 

 

George Milton

·         He is a small man, but has brains and a quick wit.

·         He has been a good friend to Lennie, ever since he promised Lennie's Aunt Clara that he would care for him. He looks after all Lennie's affairs, such as carrying his work card, and tries to steer him out of potential trouble.

·         He needs Lennie as a friend, not only because Lennie's strength helps to get them both jobs, but so as not to be lonely. His threats to leave Lennie are not really serious. He is genuinely proud of Lennie.

·         He shares a dream with Lennie to own a piece of land and is prepared to work hard to build up the money needed to buy it.

·         "...with us it ain't like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us. We don't have to sit in no bar room blowin' in our jack 'jus because we got no place else to go. If them other guys gets in jail they can rot for all anybody gives a damn. But not us."

·         He is honest with people he trusts. For example, he tells Slim that he used to play tricks on Lennie when they were young, but now feels guilty about it as Lennie nearly drowned.

Lennie Small

 

·         He is a big man, in contrast to his name.

·         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

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