Characters In George Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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The title of the novel Of Mice and Men has a unique meaning behind it. The saying “Are you a man or are you a mouse?” has a connection to novel itself but more importantly the characters. Each main character in this novel can be classified as either a “man” or a “mouse”. The “men” seen in the novel are George Milton, and Curley. The “mice” can be classified as Lennie Small and Curley’s wife. The “mice” are represented by the weak or the socially unacceptable characters; the “men” are represented by the strong, independent characters. The first main character, George Milton, is an ordinary man. He is a small in size and a wiry guy. The book describes George as “small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp, strong features. Every…show more content…
The novel describes Lennie as “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 beat drags his paws. His arms did not swing at his sides, but hung loosely” (Steinbeck 2). Lennie is slow minded as well, but “strong as a bull.” George states in the novel, “He ain’t no cuckoo. He’s dumb as hell, but he ain’t crazy. An’ I ain’t so bright neither, or I wouldn’t be buckin’ barley for my fifty and found” (Steinbeck 37). Because Lennie is slow minded, he often gets impatient with individuals around him, which causes him to have a short fuse. He expresses his anger sometimes, but keeps composer at the same time. The reason Lennie has not been in more trouble than what he has already been in is because he is protected by innocence. One reason Lennie gets in trouble is because his obsession with soft things. For example, Lennie likes to “pet” mice, soft puppies and even hair on someone’s person. Curley’s wife ends up being killed by Lennie in chapter five because she underestimates his strength when she lets him “pet” her hair. When the reader first meets Curley’s wife, she gives off the wrong impression. She came into the bunk house “intentionally” and noticed the new boys, George and Lennie. The reader notices that she is just looking for attention, either because she is lonely or just a “tart.” Stated from the…show more content…
“Nobody can’t blame a person for lookin’,” she said” (Steinbeck 29). Curley’s wife, the reader finds out, is just lonely. She does not really belong on that ranch. In chapter 4, Curley’s wife confides in Lennie. She starts telling him about her dreams about being a star. By the middle of chapter 5, Lennie and she have acquired a friendship, gaining enough trust that Lennie “pets” her hair. In the end, she is ultimately killed by Lennie. Slim is considered the Prince of the Ranch. Characters like Slim do not have much importance to the novel besides companionship. He came off tough and calm. The book states, “…he moved with a majesty only achieved by royalty and master craftsman. He was a jerkline skinner, the prince of the ranch… There was a gravity in his manner and a quiet so profound that all talk stopped when he spoke. His authority was so great that his word was taken on any subject, be it politics or love… His hatchet face was ageless. He might have been thirty-five or fifty. His ear heard more than was said to him, and his slow speech had overtones not of thought, but of understanding thought. His hands, large and lean, were as delicate in their action as those of a temple dancer” (Steinebeck
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