Of Mice and Men chapter 5

Of Mice and Men chapter 5
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  • Symbol: Dead dog The dead dog in chapter five symbolizes Lennies continued obliviousness to his strength. It is there as a reminder, and to foreshadow, that unintentional killings are a trait Lennie will never move past. Due to his mental disability, Lennie will never understand common interactions or a normal way to respond to such a situation.
  • Theme: Loneliness In chapter 5 Curleys wife reveals her personality to Lennie. She too proves to be lonely, and sees Lennie as an easy person to vent to thanks to his lack of intelligence. She confides that she is unhappy in her marriage, and doesn't even like her husband. She seems to start to feel a connection that is actually false, and lets Lennie touch her soft hair. Clearly a bad decision, Lennie ends up snapping her neck in a haste to keep her quiet after not letting go.
  • Characterization: Curleys wife Curleys wife, although being in the novel since chapter 2, comes to life in chapter 5. Ironically chapter 5 is also the chapter where she loses her life. Described loosely as a temptation, bitch, tart etc Steinbeck holds back on the development of this character. It seems her sole purpose was to try and cause problems, and ultimately causes the biggest problem George and Lennie ever face. In my opinion, Curleys wife lacks so much detail because Steinbeck wants the reader to feel the least resentment possible towards Lennie for killing her.
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