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Off the Salinas River in California two migrant workers George and Lennie travel to a ranch for work. After leaving a previous job because Lennie grabbed a woman by her dress.
Lennie and George are friends however, Lennie is developmentally disabled and because of his childlike mentality the two friends often find themselves in trouble.
Curley, the boss’s son, immediately takes a dislike to Lennie and picks on him. Curley’s wife who also seems to be an issue as she is always seeking the attention of the men. Despite these troubles the boys make friends with the ranch hands and they feel closer than ever to achieving their dream of owning their farm when Candy offers up a large sum of money.
Lennie was given a puppy by slim and as he was in the barn tending it Curley’s wife enters and they begin to talk. Without realizing it Lennie grabs her hair because he likes soft things. When she gets nervous and tells him to stop, he panics and breaks her neck.
Lennie was given specific instructions by George that if anything bad happened he should hide down near the river. When he does George meets him there.
In the end, George shoots Lennie before Curley is able to find him. The men cover it up however, the reader knows that the sorrow they all share that George had to kill his best friend.
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