Of Mice and Men: Chapter 1


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  • Theme: Dreams
  • Symbol: Rabbit
  • Character: Lennie
  • George and Lennie have a dream of owning “a little house and a couple of acres an’ a cow and some pigs and rabbits”(p 14). When they are talking about their dream, they get excited, even their voices become sonorous, especially Lennie. He promises George to be obedient in exchange for allowing him to tend the rabbits. Although they do not have any jobs or savings yet, they are still hoping that they will eventually have a farm one day.
  • Rabbit frequently shows in chapter one as a symbol of hope. Both George and Lennie have a dream of owning a farm one day, and George promises Lennie that they will have different colour rabbits. To Lennie, George's words of tending the rabbits impels him not to get in trouble. As a man with mental disability, rabbit becomes Lennie's spiritual support. However, like many mice he has killed before, he is not able to take care of those small animals because he cannot control his strength very well.
  • Lennie is the opposite of George. George is small, quick and intelligent; Lennie is huge, heavy and dull. From chapter one, it is easy to find out that there is something wrong with Lennie - he has a mental disability. He drinks scummy water; he forgets things all the time; he keeps a dead mouse in his pocket. Lennie is pure like a child. He listens to every word George says because he believes in George. Their huge contrast is one of the highlights in chapter one.
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