Man vs. man is a type of conflict in which two or more characters are pitted against each other. Candy, an old man on the ranch, has a conflict with Carlson in chapter three. Candy’s friend and long-time companion is his old dog. He’s had him ever since he was a pup. Carlson tells Candy that his dog is too old and in constant pain. He says the dog isn’t doing any good to itself or anyone else. Carlson suggests that Candy should shoot his dog and take one of Slim’s new pups. After some debate, Candy unwillingly decides to let Carlson shoot and bury his dog. On page 47, Candy finally gives in and says, “Awright—take ‘im.” Later on, the men hear the shot from Carlson’s gun.
The major man vs. man conflict in chapters three and four is Lennie vs. Curley. After Curley and Slim walked in arguing about Curley’s wife, Curley saw Lennie daydreaming about his farm and thought Lennie was giggling at him. Curley got agitated and punched Lennie. Lennie became scared and tried to block Curley’s attacks but he continuously hit Lennie. When George yelled at Lennie to fight back, Lennie grabbed Curley’s hand and crushed it. On page 64, George yelled over and over again at Lennie to let go of Curley’s hand. When he finally did, the men discovered that every bone in his hand must have been broken. On page 44, Slim convinced Curley to stay quiet and tell everyone that he got his hand caught in a machine instead of maintaining tha...
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...nnie goes into his room, Crooks explains how when he was a child, his family was the only black family for miles. Sometimes, Crooks would play with the white children in the neighborhood. His father didn’t like that, and now Crooks knew why. He now shares his father’s feeling of apprehension against white people.
There were various conflicts in Of Mice and Men. Some of the conflicts were internal—such as Candy’s decision to give up his dog and George’s decision to stop playing jokes on Lennie—and others were external—such as Lennie’s fight with Curley and Crooks’ struggle against society. Characters’ interactions with the other workers on the ranch caused external conflicts and characters’ difficulties making tough decisions caused the internal conflicts of the chapters. Of Mice and Men contains many conflicts, with each conflict affecting the storyline of the book.
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