Chapter 2

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  • Symbolism - The Solitaire Game
  • Characterization - Slim
  • Theme - Belonging
  • George's game is a symbol throughout the chapter. George tends to rely on himself alone, and he carefully builds his hand of information as the chapter progresses. Slim studies George's cards as he figures him out - he snaps one as he pries information from George.
  • Symbolism - The Horses
  • Slim is the jerkin skinner, he of the ageless face and the majesty of 'royalty and master craftsmen' (pg 22). In the eyes of his direct characterization, Slim can do no wrong. He is also quick to seek information from George.
  • Characterization - Curley's Wife
  • Curley belongs on the ranch because he is the boss' son. He believes he can't lose that place, so he is at liberty to do whatever he wants in the place where his position cannot be questioned.
  • Theme - Belonging
  • As George and Lennie's world shatters around them, the horses keep doing what they always have, and Steinbeck repeats almost word for word what happened when life was fairly normal. Life goes on, and life cares very little what happens to Lennie, or George, or Curley's wife.
  • Curley's wife was young and naïve, marrying Curley to get back at her mother. She longs for human connections and found at least a listening ear in Lennie. In the end, she pays dearly for her mistakes.
  • Curley's wife doesn't really belong on the ranch, and she knows it. Her dreams consist of a life in Hollywood, where she'd wear nice clothes and go to previews, and she'd belong there, because she was a 'natural'.
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