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The mouse is a major symbol in chapter 1. Lennie refers to it on many occasions. This is without a doubt the biggest symbol in the chapter and quite possibly the whole book as well because that's where we learn of Lennie's addictive personality. From this point on we know he isn't your average travel companion. Lennie doesn't just caress mice, he hangs on to everything he thinks is nice. Which ultimately gets him in trouble throughout the book.
Lennie and George have a relationship that is not the greatest but still better then most men's relationships in that time. George appears to be the leader of the 2. He is the bright one and makes all the decisions, whereas Lennie is nothing more then a child in an adults body who doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut. As irritating as Lennie is, George puts up with him because Lennie would more then likely not survive in life without him.
The theme for this chapter is that Lennie and George are finding out that not many people like them in every town that they visit. They just don't have a good reputation with the locals who mostly scowl at them and treat them with anything less then respect. George still has the upper hand and always seems to fit in, but Lennie is the outcast who gets under everyone's skin that he tries to talk to.
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