of mice and men chap 1

of mice and men chap 1

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  • Theme: Dreams
  • Symbol: Dead mouse
  • Character: Lennie
  • In chapter one, George says, "We'll have a big vegetable patch and a rabbit hutch and chickens...", when Lennie wants him to repeat their dream over and over about owning a piece of land some day. Lennie really just cares about the part of the dream where he would be able to keep rabbits. He is like a child, while George wants his independent life and wants to find a way that he can look after Lennie, as well.
  • Theme: Dreams
  • George finds a dead mouse in Lennie's pocket and he wants Lennie to get rid of it. Lennie thinks that the dead mouse can be his friend, because he is lonely and he has nobody except George. He wants to make connection to other living things, and he likes soft creatures. He does not intend to kill the mouse, but he is unaware of his own strength and he does not understand the concept of death. He wants something soft of his own.
  • Symbol: Lennie's puppy
  • The dead mouse symbolizes Lennie’s loneliness and his need to have something. It is also foreshadowing of a tragic event to come.
  • Lennie is a huge, strong, but gentle man with a mental disability, which prevents him from taking care of himself on his own. He is forgetful, so his only friend George has to remind him about important things all of the time. Lennie strives to make George pleased with him. Lennie does not understand when something serious happens, afterward talking delightfully as if nothing is wrong. He also has an obsession about petting soft things.
  • Character: Candy
  • "S'pose I went in with you guys. Tha's three hundred an' fifty bucks I'd put in. I ain't much good, but I could cook and tend the chickens and hoe the garden some. How'd that be?" asks the old man. After this conversation, George allows him to be a part of their dream because they don't have enough money for a ranch. With Candy's money, George thinks that they will be closer to their dreams.
  • In chapter 2, Steinbeck focuses on Candy's dream, which is to join in with George and Lennie's dream. He is considered useless by others and he feels disconnected to everything around him at the ranch.
  • Slim, a respected ranch hand, gives one of his pups to Lennie because he knows how hard Lennie works and recognizes Lennie’s mental disability. Lennie wants this puppy more than anything because of his obsession with soft things. He spends all of his time in the bunkhouse petting his puppy. Just as Lennie's life is dependent on George, the pup's life is dependent on Lennie.
  • Candy is an old man who lives at the ranch. He lost one arm during a ranch accident, so the boss keeps him on to clean the bunkhouse. The others at the ranch do not give him a chance to speak because they do not respect his lack of power due to his disability. But he wants to have an independent life. He plays an important role in the story because he offers his own money to George so they can all share George and Lennie's dream of owning a piece of land.
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