“An live off the fatta the lan!” (OMM #1)

This evening, please re-read Of Mice and Men through page 17 and then use your blog to discuss themes, images, and motifs that you notice.  Be sure to include many specific text-based details in your commentary.  Be sure also to reply to your classmates as the discussion evolves over the course of the evening.

Also, don’t forget to annotate your text as you read and to write two or three discussion questions for class.  Remember, though, that a discussion question should not have an answer.  Rather, it should provoke interesting conversation.

OMM blog #1

33 thoughts on ““An live off the fatta the lan!” (OMM #1)

  1. After re-reading the first chapter, I noticed something that came up in class. I noticed the transition and change in words from paragraph one to paragraph two. In the first paragraph, Steinbeck writes about the nature of the scene. He writes:
    On one side of the river the golden foothill slopes curve up to the strong and rocky Gabilan Mountains, but on the valley side the water is lined with trees- willows fresh and green with every spring, carrying in their lower leaf junctures the debris of the winter’s flooding; and sycamores with mottled, white, recumbent limbs and branches that arch over the pool. On the sandy bank under the trees the leaves lie deep and so crisp that a lizard makes a great skittering if he runs among them. Rabbits come out of the brush to sit on the sand in the evening, and the damp flats are covered with the night tracks of ‘coons, and with the spread pads of dogs from the ranches, and with the split-wedge tracks of deer that come to drink in the dark.
    He describes the nature and uses words like “recumbent limbs” and “golden foothill slopes”. He also never mentions anything about humans. He talks about the animals that leave tracks in the sand, but not humans. Then in the second paragraph, he writes:
    There is a path through the willows and among the sycamores, a path beaten hard by boys coming down from the ranches to swim in the deep pool, and beaten hard by tramps who come wearily down from the highway in the evening to jungle-up near water. In front of the low horizontal limb of a giant sycamore there is an ash pile made by many fires; the limb is worn smooth by men who have sat on it.
    In this paragraph, the writing changes. He uses words like “beaten hard”. And he talks about how there is a big ash pile from all the fires. And how the branch was “worn smooth” by the men sitting on it. This change in writing shows how men change nature. Steinbeck writes how they are destroying it by making the branch smooth and leaving an ash pile. This shows how humans interfere with nature.

    Discussion Questions:
    1: Why does Steinbeck include this change in the way he describes the scene?
    2: Why does Steinbeck show the scene with the mouse in the first chapter?

  2. After re-reading chapter 1 of Of Mice and Men, I noticed some interesting ways that the author describes Lennis. There are multiple occasions throughout this chapter where Lennie is compared to an animal. ”Behind him walked his opposite, a huge man, shapeless of face, with large, pale eyes, and wide, sloping shoulders; and he walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws,” (p. 2). “His huge companion dropped his blankets and flung himself down and drank from the surface of the green pool; drank with long gulps, snorting into the water like a horse,” (p. 3). “Lennie dabbled his big paw in the water and wiggled his fingers so the water arose in little splashes; rings widened across the pool to the other side and came back again,” (p. 3). Now, what does this say about Lennie? Well, the comparison to a bear depicts Lennie as sluggish. And not just physically, but mentally, too. It also makes him seem more innocent. Like when he is drinking out of the pool, he doesn’t really know what he’s doing wrong. And, as we all know, innocence is a very controversial part of this book. Does innocence justify wrongdoing? Or should an ignorant person be punished the same way as a regular offender? Anyway, getting back on topic, And a horse doesn’t seem like a violent animal. They seem kind and trusting. Moreover, the comparison to a bear may make Lennie seem sluggish, but it also hints at the fact that he is dangerous and powerful. Lennie has more strength than he’s aware of. “ ‘I’d pet ’em, and pretty soon they bit my fingers and I pinched their heads a little and then they was dead- because they was so little,’ ” (p. 10). I mean, he’s sweet and all, but I thought it was kind of scary when he was talking about accidentally killing that mouse. Anyway, I think that the comparison of Lennie to a bear foreshadows him killing Curley’s wife. The only difference is that Lennie didn’t know what he was doing.

  3. After re-reading the first chapter of this novella, I became interested in understanding George’s character more. All we know is that he is somewhat smart, a farmworker and Lennie’s best friend. Although he is Lennie’s friend, the only time he gets angry is when Lennie does something dumb. George even says, ” The little man jerked down the brim of his hat and scowled over at Lennie. ‘So you forgot that awready, did you? I gotta tell you again, do I? Jesus Christ, you’re a crazy bastard!’ ” He already starts acting angered and is frustrated with Lennie. However, he realizes that Lennie is different and that it is hard for Lennie to remember things. George tells Lennie what Lennie forgot about, and they moved on. This evidence shows Lennie is George’s best friend, but George just does not understand Lennie enough to not get mad at him. George is actually soft on the inside even though he acts tough. George always says that he would be better off with Lennie. “‘God, you’re a lot of trouble,” said George. ‘I could get along so easy and so nice if I didn’t have you on my tail. I could live so easy and maybe have a girl.'” If George wanted to get rid of Lennie, he would have done so because Lennie listens to everything George tells him to do. However, he never gets rid of Lennie. George could never be without Lennie. Lennie is optimistic and George is realistic. There is no way they could survive without each and George knows that.

    Discussion Questions:
    Is Lennie the mouse and George the man (based on the poem and title)?
    Does setting have a bigger role to play than we have thought of?
    What is George’s real personality?

    • Great job! I agree with your blog that George wouldn’t be able to live without Lennie and the two characters balance each other out. Keep up the great work!

    • Really nice job Aniket, I like how you chose to more specifically focus on George and his traits. Nice blog!

  4. In the novella “Of Mice and Men”, by John Steinbeck, the idea of nature is really important. It was only after re-reading the first chapter where I noticed that out of all the things in nature, one thing that Steinbeck emphasises is the brush. I am very curious as to why the author chose a brush out of all the things in nature. The brush is supposed to be a safe spot where things are simple, yet this place isn’t simple because it’s where one of the main characters, Lennie, dies. How is it a safe spot and a place where he died? What is this trying to show the reader and does John Steinbeck choose the brush for a reason or is it just an example of a same place for the two main characters because they don’t have an actual home. After looking at the first chapter I was looking for answers to my question and I found two places where the brush was seen. The first place in which we see the brush is when George talks to Lennie and throws Lennie’s dead mouse. It says, “George stood up and threw the mouse as far as he could into the darkening brush.” The brush is described as dark, does that have to do with the idea of light and dark? Is it described as dark because usually things that are described as dark are mysterious? Anyways, George threw something that was dead into the brush. This is kind of foreshadowing because Lennie is next to the brush when he died. I then continued to read and I found that George said to Lennie, “Lennie-if you jus’ happen to get in trouble like you always done before, I want you to come right here an’ hid in the brush.” Here George is telling Lennie that the brush should be his safe spot. By making it his safe spot, it was kind of their place where other’s wouldn’t come and hurt them. It was supposed to be a somewhere where Lennie could hide from the world if he was in trouble. Why is it that George made this the area where he shot Lennie. To conclude, I think that the brush is really important in this story and I want to read the other chapters again to see what they say about the brush. I’m sorry if this blog contains things that are seen in the end of the book but I only now made these connections and realized that the brush was important.

  5. After rereading through page 17 of Of Mice and Men by George Steinbeck, I noticed a very interesting theme in the book, that being neglect. We see it here in Lennie. In this reading, we are introduced to Lennie, a large, yet bumbling migrant worker, and George, who is smarter and takes care of Lennie while they travel from job to job. When we come to know them, they have just come out of a job in Weed, and are traveling to their next place of work, a ranch to the south. They stop by the Salinas River for the night, and plan to set off for the ranch in the morning. Once reading, it becomes quite clear that George is in charge, and in sense, bullies Lennie. We also see that Lennie has some sort of disability, as Remy pointed out in class. This is shown when both George and Lennie are having a discussion about the ranch they will own, and Lennie says, “‘I wish we’d get the rabbits pretty soon, George. They ain’t so little.’ ‘The hell with the rabbits. An’ you ain’t to be trusted with no live mice.’” (page 10). As a side note, I found it interesting that while George bullies Lennie, he is fiercely loyal to him and stands up for him to other people who act the same way. Finally, George and Lennie make dinner and proceed to sleep. George and Lennie have an interesting relationship, with George on top and Lennie on the bottom. While George knows Lennie isn’t fully normal, he doesn’t know how serious the condition is, and he certainly does not handle it the right way. He neglects him and makes him care for many things on his own, when that is clearly not the best thing to do. In a later chapter, George even tells of how he used to play tricks on Lennie for his own enjoyment. I even believe this neglect led to the eventual death of Lennie. While George was distracted, Lennie didn’t realize what he was doing and killed Curley’s wife, and as a consequence he was killed, as well. All it took was George to overlook Lennie for a second to cause such disastrous consequences. Overall, I gleaned a lot more from these pages upon reading it a second time, and look forward to seeing new details pop up in further reading.

  6. George and Lennie have an interesting relationship. The two are not related by blood, but act as big brother and little brother at times, and as father and son at other times. George outwardly criticizes and shames Lennie at almost every opportunity that he gets. He talks about he could be very rich and successful, and how he could be running his own farm without having Lennie around. George tells Lennie that he is the person who is dragging him from success, and messing up all of his dreams and opportunities. Out of all the things, Lennie seems to understand this the most. He goes silent for a while, and then tells George that he was just kidding about wanting ketchup, kind of as an apology. Lennie only shows this sense of understanding because George was angry and scolding Lennie, and George’s demeanor, attitude and tone of voice is the reason Lennie attempts to say sorry. This is the father/son example, as George is being the father and telling Lennie to fix himself up, while Lennie is the son apologizing to his father for making these mistakes. They are big and little brother shortly after this, when Lennie starts telling George he will go away if George wants him to. George then tells Lennie that Lennie needs to stay with him, and apologizes to Lennie for being mean to him. George is being the older brother, and Lennie is being the younger brother. Brothers and fathers/sons both need each other to function, and this is shown in the final part of the chapter. George tells Lennie about the story of the farm, and Lennie gets joyful when he hears it again. George seems to not care, but in reality he is lost in his fantasy of telling the story, and this fantasy includes the younger brother; Lennie.

    • Great Job, Homeboy! Your response was terrific and written with an adequate amount of analysis. Your ideas were interesting and you elaborated very nicely on your main points. Keep up the great work!

  7. In chapter 1 of Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, we are introduced to Lennie and George, the main characters in this novella. After re-reading this chapter, I was able to notice some aspects of the chapter in more detail than I did during the first read through. George and Lennie and two very different people, almost polar opposites. George is a slow moving man and small, he has a shapeless face but is smart and attentive. Lennie, on the other hand is tall and lanky, but very strong, he is also not very smart and very forgetful. If you were to hear about these characters without any background, you would be surprised or confused as to how they had become important in each other’s lives. But, somehow these two are like brothers without any of us questioning it because they just seem to fit with one another. Although almost all of their characteristics are very different, they do have one trait in common. They both have two very big hearts. Although we see them as hard on each other at first, (especially George to Lennie) they are actually just very close. After reading about more of their relationship other than what we read in the first chapter, we know that George would do anything for Lennie and vice versa. George is thankful to have Lennie to make him a better person and keep him company. Lennie is grateful to have George to help him remember information and have a good life. They both deeply care about each other although they may not be able to express it all of the time. Lennie doesn’t seem able to always express his feelings and George seems like the kind of guy that hides his true feelings away from the world. George and Lennie both have huge hearts and love each other very much, without each other they may not have made their way to where they were.

    • HAHAH i just realized our blogs start with almost the exact same sentence! What a coincidence! I love how you said that George and Lennie both have big hearts, I really didn’t write much about their similarities. Great job!

  8. In the first few pages of Of Mice and Men, we are introduced to the two main characters of the novella. There is the small but serious George, and the strong but disabled Lennie. Lennie and George’s relationship is pretty odd. Lennie is very dependent on George, constantly asking for his approval, and following his exact words. George is not at all dependent on Lennie, instead, he says how Lennie is holding him back. But then why would George stay and stick with Lennie. George never made a big promise to Aunt Clara that he will stick with Lennie and take care of him, he states that Lennie just came along and he just got used to him after a while. We talked about loneliness in class, and I think that this is why George is sticking to Lennie. Lennie’s presence alone helps George. Lennie looks up to George, and George needs someone that is with him. He cannot survive alone, and lonely. Lennie in the other hand, needs George for self-control. To George, Lennie is a companion, and to Lennie, George is like a father. He will obey and constantly look up to him. Lennie wants George to be proud of him. These two characters and their relationship is a very interesting idea that we can all think about.
    Why is George sticking with Lennie, even though he clearly does not need him?
    Staying with the analysis of George and Lennie, their physical appearance is also very interesting. George is a small man, and you would think that he would be the goofy one, but he is the serious one. Lennie is a big man, he is strong, but he has a mental disability. You would think he would be the serious one, but he is the complete opposite. He is very vulnerable and innocent, and follows around George. The stronger and bigger ne usually protects the smaller one, but in this case, George is protecting Lennie.
    Is stereotypes a motif? Why did Steinbeck write this way?

    • I love your blog Ellie! All throughout the first time reading the novella I thought that George needed Lennie but I couldn’t pinpoint why exactly he needed Lennie, all I could tell is that he did. Great job putting the idea into words.

  9. Up until page 17 of Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, we see the relationships towards George and Lennie. It is evident that these two main characters are like brothers in the way that they act and treat one another. This idea is exemplified in the text as George oftentimes messes around with Lennie or tinkers with his feelings in a way that is meant to provide George a chuckle. He even complains to the strong, but innocent Lennie about how much better his life would be without Lennie. He envisions a perfect life with ultimate success, wealth, and even a farm. Despite this negatively towards Lennie at times, George is a good person with no bad intentions. On the other hand, Lennie is a mentally disabled, but extremely kind and caring character. He doesn’t know his own strength and tries his best to be the best person he could be. George guides and mentors Lennie thought every given circumstance, with this guidance sometimes being controlling. Overall, George and Lennie are both main characters and protagonists in this novella with good intentions. George is more of the parent/brother figure while Lennie is the child. Throughout the reread, I have noticed more details and minor events. Finally, the word sycamore, an American plane tree, is repeated several times in the text, what is its significance (if any?). Also, how does the title relate to the story, and who does Steinbeck refer to as the mice and men.

    • Nice blog. I enjoyed reading about what you discovered in the chapter. I also enjoyed contemplating your interesting questions.

    • Great response Ajay. I like how you mentioned that George is often messing with Lennie just like a brother. Nice work!

  10. In the first chapter of Of Mice and Men we meet George and Lennie, our two main characters. Both times I read this section I noticed that George kept making decisions and doing things that showed he had the power in the relationship. George took Lennie’s mouse twice, the second time throwing it across the river. It wasn’t necessary for him to take the mouse and throw it but he had to ensure power over Lennie. He also kept making Lennie feel bad about forgetting everything. Clearly Lennie has some sort of mental issue and George keeps making him feel bad about it. Another thing that George did was included very quickly into the chapter. It was made clear that George walked directly in front of Lennie, forming a single line. George could have been walking next to Lennie and it would have made them seem equal, but no, George had to be ahead of Lennie declaring his dominance. As we know in the end of the novella George ends up shooting Lennie so that he can stay at the ranch. I believe that this showing of power early on may be foreshadowing that George end up calling the shots (pun intended) in the end. Another thing I noticed was George’s sudden change in mood. After he took away Lennie’s mouse the second time George was being very mean to Lennie, until Lennie started to cry. Then he started being extremely nice, saying that he would get him a live mouse to pet. Almost immediately after his nice moment he was making Lennie feel bad about his memory again. We see this mood change again in the end of the novella before George shoots Lennie. George was being rude to Lennie until he realized what he was about to do and then he was nice to him. I’m not sure if these two points I discussed would be considered foreshadowing or just characterization of George but either way I found it interesting.

    Discussion Questions:
    -Do you think George thought all along that he would put himself above Lennie in the end, or did he think he would protect him?
    -We know that George and Lennie ran away back in Weed in order to avoid Lennie getting in trouble, proving they put themselves above justice, but in the end George says he has to kill Lennie because Lennie killed Curley’s wife. What made George suddenly change his ideas?

  11. Rereading the first chapter of “Of Mice and Men” definitely gave me new insight on the novella. The first thing I noticed when reading the first chapter was the description of the scenery. There was a very in-depth description of the scenery, but the description was relatively short. Steinbeck cut straight to the point when describing the scenery instead of slowly building the scenery like most of the books I have read. The difference between “Of Mice and Men” and those other books are that this is a novella and those are novels. My reread opened me up to the distinction between novels and novellas. The obvious difference is novels are longer than novellas. Novellas have less time to develop characters so, in this novel, Steinfield introduces characters and immediately develops them. What are other differences between novels and novellas that might be important to our understanding of the book? Something we have known since we started the novella is that this book relates to the poem, “To a Mouse.” I see a relation between Lennie and the mouse: both don’t fit in the domain of men. Is there a relation between George and the narrator? I enjoyed rereading the first chapter, and I hope to see similar revelations in future rereading.

    • I like your ideas Devan. A lot of people in our class wrote on specific things in the actual book, but you thought more differently about novels and novellas, which I find interesting.

  12. After re-reading chapter 1 in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, I paid closer attention to the relationship between Lennie and George. Although they are not actually brothers, I have taken note that the relationship between them resembles that of a cliche, “Dominant older brother, innocent younger brother”. One of the strongest pieces of evidence in the text supporting this is “Lennie looked timidly over to him. “George?” “Yeah, what ya want?” “Where we goin’, George?” The little man jerked down the brim of his hat and scowled over at Lennie. “So you forgot that awready, did you? I gotta tell you again, do I? Jesus Christ, you’re a crazy bastard!” “I forgot,” Lennie said softly. “I tried not to forget. Honest to God I did, George.” (pg. 4) In this exchange, I took note of the description of Lennie looking over to George as “Timid”. Then later Lennie speaks softly, even after being provoked, he is still dutiful and loyal to George. This portrays Lennie’s undying love and trust for George, even though as we know, George has hurt and teased Lennie many times before. Lennie even goes as far as to attempt to mimic George in every way. As this idea is developed, one might also compare Lennie to George’s “Pet”, as when Lennie is first described, he’s described with similes comparing him to first a bear, and then a horse, and later, George even talks to George as he would a pet, calling him a “Good boy”(pg.15) Once again we see such considerable loyalty in Lennie that, perhaps he could be compared to a dog. This theme of Lennie acting like a dog, in the way that George later describes him as not being bright, but being able to do what you tell him to do.

  13. Upon rereading the first chapter of “Of Mice And Men,” I noticed quite a few things. One is that animals have been spoken of very often, especially mice and rabbits. I am guessing that one motif is animals, as they are often mentioned of. George and Lennie speaks of cows, mice, rabbits, and pigs. Another thing I’ve noticed is about Lennie’s intelligence. He is pictured as being not bright, but in that small instance, he noticed his advantage. He was able to put leverage by saying he could just leave right then. He even remembered to not speak, which he seemed to keep reminding George. While most of the time Lennie cannot think, he still seemed to have some intelligence to use George’s sympathy to his advantage. The final thing I have noticed was George’s warning. He said that if anything happened, Lennie is to jump into the brush and wait for George there. I think of this as a foreshadowing, as the author would not include this if nothing bad were to happen.

    Discussion Questions:
    -Why do you think that George cares for Lennie so much?
    -What is the symbol of the rabbits and mice?

  14. In my reread of pages 1-17 of Of Mice and Men, the theme of brotherhood was very prominent to me. Things that interpreted as George being a father figure to Lennie or even pitying him, I saw it differently the second time around.
    The way George desperatley wants to Lennie’s guide reminds me of a brother that has a kid sibling. He serves as Lennie’s mentor in a way. Any time Lennie does something wrong, George is right there to scold and correct him. But their relationships is so reminiscent of two brothers especially in the way George chastises him while still trying to help him is just how an older brother treats their little brother. It was much more prominent to me that George sort of pities Lennie but not in a condescending or patronizing way, in a somewhat loving way.
    I also on my first read saw George as reluctant to care for Lennie, but I don’t really see it that way anymore. I feel like being cold, aloof and emotionally detached is just how George is and I feel like he wants to embrace Lennie and tend to him more warmly, but that’s not who he is, unfortunately. I think George makes up for this aloofness towards Lennie when he ends his life, he finally embraces Lennie in a very kind way. George plays into Lennie’s fantasies for life instead of being the cold realist we saw him to be. I feel George wants to be like Lennie in the way that Lennie is sweet and kind to everyone, which is a trait George never really possessed. George needed to grow and learn from Lennie, and I think the change was needed.

  15. In chapter 1 of Mice and Men, the idea of the lonely working man seems to come up a lot. Lennie and George are on their way to interview for a job on a farm. This all happens in the 1930’s, the great depression, so a job is very very important. When Lennie and George make a fire to eat beans for dinner, George tells Lennie all about how guys like them usually won’t ever have someone to look out for them. “Guys like us that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They don’t got no family. They don’t belong no place…” However, George tells Lennie that things are different for them. Weather he is just telling this to Lennie to make him smile, they really do have what most working men don’t, a relationship. “With us it ain’t like that. We got a future. We got somebody that gives a damn about us…” Life during this period is all about making money and not much else. Lennie doesn’t really understand money and he just knows that you need it. Therefore money isn’t something that is on his mind which makes him different than the common lonely working man. George knows if he wasn’t there with Lennie, Lennie wouldn’t make it in life. Since they have each other, they will always have someone to talk to, especially by the river. Also, another theory about the importance of the Sycamore trees by the river is they are like open arms that will welcome a man no matter what happens. The river represents the safety and comfort in life and that is why George tells Lennie to go to the river if anything were to happen. It is just a theory, but I will pay attention whenever the book mentions Sycamores. It could also explain why there were people sitting on the broken Sycamore branch. During the great depression, everyone needs a little comfort so the Sycamores have been used a lot. I am excited to see what new ideas we can all discover in the second time we read this.

    • Great ideas! Your idea about the lonely man and the sycamores were both very interesting. Amazing job. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  16. In the first 17 pages of Of Mice and Men, the first events of Lennie and George’s tale unfold. They have just landed at a certain river in California, and begin to discuss their plans. A recurring motif I noticed was that George and the author continuously refer to and portray Lennie as an animal or dog. For example, when Lennie becomes thirsty, he directly drinks from the river with his mouth much like an animal. On the other hand, George drinks with handfuls of water, with a more human nature. Moreover, his hands are constantly referred to as paws. “…and he walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws.” Also, whenever Lennie does something satisfactory, George says, “good boy,” like a dog owner would say to his pet. What does all of this mean? Why does Steinbeck relate him to a dog? I think it’s to show how a dog’s characteristics compare to Lennie. In comparison: they are both loyal, obedient, and have to be taught to do certain things. Lennie is always at George’s side, ready to do whatever he wants him. No matter what, Lennie is always waiting for George to come back and return to him. Many times, George must “train” him to do certain things, like not cause trouble, or to not speak. Steinbeck may also be comparing him to Candy’s dog. Like Lennie, Candy’s dog was old and would suffer a lot if he hadn’t been put down. In addition, they were both euthanized with a gunshot to the back of the head, with a painless death.

  17. I noticed many things while rereading Of Mice and Men. One of them, although it might not be important, is outfits/appearances. The appearance of the pool was still and peaceful. When George and Lennie came into the book, it described their clothings. Whenever a new character would be introduced to the readers, their outfits would be described. George and Lennie were wearing “…denim trousers and in denim coats with brass buttons. Both wore black, shapeless hats and both carried tight blanket rolls slung over their shoulders.”(pg.2) Also, on the topic of appearances, Lennie wanted a brown and white puppy, not any other color. He could have chose any other color combination but he chose brown and white. Speaking of colors, that might also be a motif in this book. I noticed that when the pool was described, there were many blues, greens, and other happy colors, but when the workplace was described, or the men’s outfits, they all seemed dark and colorless. Since the pool and the setting around it was where George and Lennie talked about their fantasies, the pond could symbolize happiness and fantasy, while the workplace would symbolize reality and dullness. What might also not be important is sound. Again when the pool was described, the lizard “…makes a great skittering if he runs among them.”(pg.1) Also, whenever Lennie talks, he shouts. When he and George were talking about their dream farm, Lennie was shouting about the rabbits, even though he didn’t realize it. Although most of these might not be important at all, they just popped out at me while I was rereading.

  18. After rereading upto page 17 in Of Mice and Men, I realized there is a very big theme which is trust. Lennie depends on George and trusts George to make the right decisions for Lennie. Most people say that George controls Lennie. This was true when they were first getting used to each other. For example, when George told Lennie to jump into the water and Lennie jumped in without hesitation. Now, I don’t think George controls Lennie. He does tell him what is right and what is wrong. I think George just wants Lennie to know what to do in a certain situation. Lennie depends on George. I also want to mention characteristics of George and Lennie. George is very closeted and portrays himself as a tough man. However, he thinks that showing any emotion will exhibut him as weak. Lennie is this huge teddy bear, kind, sweet hearted, and will always listen to you. Despite the unique characterization of these two characters, they need each other to be happy.

  19. After rereading through chapter 2 we are introduced to the characters that work at the farm. These character are Candy Curly and Slim. One thing that already pops out to me is the use of the letter C on the names of background characters. Maybe it represents how they are common but the other character are special or maybe even something else. Slim also intrigued me during this chapter as well. First of all his name does not start with a C so clearly he has a major role in this book. But he is often described as a calming character unlike candy or Curly. He is different, but it is unclear how. Slim is shown also as a caring and sympathetic character. For example he gave Lennie a puppy. One question I have is what Slims true role in this book really is.

  20. After reading the beginning of the story once again, I see myself thinking about the story that George is telling Lennie. This story has obviously been told to Lennie many times because he has it memorized at this point. This, however, most likely leads into his obsession with animals and taking care of them. “No…you tell it. It ain’t the same if I tell it. Go on George. How I get to tend to the rabbits.”(pg.14) Clearly, Lennie is eager to hear about how their bright future involves him taking care of animals. Knowing that he has a fondness of animals, it’s obvious that he would try to take care of any animal he finds. From this, I’ve concluded his obsession with animals derives from George.

    Sure, Lennie loves to pet animals. And nobody can claim he has bad intentions when he has animals. He’s just a strong, careless guy who doesn’t know his own limits. However, his interest in animals may have to do with George’s future that he has planned for them. After some thinking, I think Lennie is so interested in George’s perfectly planned out future that he wants to make it the present by taking care of any animal he finds. He clearly is not ready to do that, but he still tries anyway. George, however, fails to understand why Lennie is not able to restrain himself from petting and taking animals. From this, I believe that Steinbeck is showing that sometimes we cannot see the fault in ourselves. There are times in life when we place blame on one another’s inability to perform a task. For example, in sports. There are many times when I wonder why someone could not catch a pass, but I didn’t acknowledge that the pass was poorly made. In a similar sense, George wonders why Lennie is obsessed with animals, but he fails to realize that Lennie only wants to make the perfect future the present. We should learn to acknowledge our mistakes so that we are able to move on to the next step in life. If we stay focused on one problem, we won’t be able to finish anything else.

  21. While rereading chapter 1, I noticed the abrupt transition from paragraph 1 into paragraph 2. The first one is describing the setting and the nature around everything, but the second one goes on to give the reader their first knowledge of George and Lennie. The first paragraph also seems to include a lot on tradition and repetition. “A path beaten hard by boys coming down from the ranches to swim in the deep pool, and beaten hard by tramps who come wearily down from the highway in the evening to jungle-up near water. In front of the low horizontal limb of a giant sycamore there is an ash pile made by many fires; the limb is worn smooth by men who have sat on it.” (pg 1-2) Perhaps this emphasis on repetition and tradition is to contrast George and Lennie’s relationship. They break stereotypes by always traveling together and by working together, even though all the other men are on their own usually. They are the only ones not on their own, knocking down the tradition of solitude. There is also mention of sycamore trees in this setting, which is interesting because sycamores often symbolize strength and reliability. A further hint at tradition and repetition maybe?

  22. The first chapter of Mice and Men showcases two men in the working class kicked off to the curb, waiting for a new job. Lennie was told the story that George had made. At first, I thought that with their life, why would they even hope for an ending like that? But then I realized that, Lennie needs reassurance, because he is just like a child. Just the way Lennie was beside George shows how much he trusted George. They weren’t even related, but George was the only person left that Lennie really knew. I imagine what it would be like, not having a full understanding of your life, just following the closest people around you.

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