January 24

The bunk house was a long rectangular building.

Discuss Of Mice and Men through page 37 here.  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 #2

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Posted January 24, 2019 by equinson in category Of Mice and Men

32 thoughts on “The bunk house was a long rectangular building.

  1. Myles Ng

    This section of Of Mice and Men drills in the fact that the “farm life that George and Lenny were seeking wasn’t the escape they had hoped for. There are multiply times where it is clearly shown that the ones who are not needed are gotten rid of. One example of this where Carlson expresses the belief that Candy should kill of his tired, old, useless dog.
    “Carlson said thoughtfully, ‘Well, looka here, Slim. I been thinkin’. That dog of Candy’s is so God damn old he can’t hardly walk. Stinks like hell, too. Ever’time he comes into the bunk house I can smell him for two, three days. Why’n’t you get Candy to shoot his old dog and give him one of the pups to raise up? I can smell that dog a mile away. Got no teeth, damn near blind, can’t eat. Candy feeds him milk. He can’t chew nothing else.’

    When Slim’s dog gives birth to 9 pups but he knows she can only support 5, he kill 4 of them without a second thought. This shows that if there is no room for you, you will not stay. This could go for people on the farm too, if you can’t or don’t work you will not have the job much longer.
    “‘She slang her pups last night,’ said Slim. ‘Nine of ‘em. I drowned four of‘em right off. She couldn’t feed that many.'”

  2. Emily

    George and Lennie seem to have a particularly strange relationship. At many points it seems as if George is only trying to stick up for Lennie, but in actuality George still looks down upon him. After the boss leaves and Lenny is asking about what happened George says, “If I was a relative of yours I’d shoot myself.”(p. 24) One would think that the pair are close friends, but why would one say something so cruel to someone they care about? Steinbeck is showing that George feels that he is Lennie’s superior. Even though Lennie is a nice, caring person who has not actually done anything wrong and has been nothing but blindly loyal to George he is still treated awfully. Steinbeck includes the detail that both George and Lennie are farm hands to show that they should be considered equals. The pair are both at the same level in a job, they started at the same time, and they both have to work in the same horrible way. Steinbeck is not only showing how life works on this farm but instead how society relates as a whole. If two people have to same exact job, but one of them has a disability Steinbeck is saying that the one with the disability will be treated worse. He is sending a message stating that society needs to change. We should accept everyone regardless of how smart they are.

    1. Mikayla Friedman

      I really like your analysis, I hadn’t thought about the novel through the lens of what Steinbeck is trying to teach his readers. After thinking about it, I think your reasoning is correct. I do think George sees himself as Lennie’s superior, but I predict that during the book something will occur to change George’s outlook on his relationship with Lennie.

  3. Mikayla Friedman

    In this chapter, George and Lennie start work at a ranch. They immediately arouse suspicion among the workers and the boss because Lennie doesn’t speak. When he is spoken to or asked a question, George answers for him. An example of this is when the boss is speaking to the pair.
    The boss said suddenly, “Listen, Small!” Lennie raised his head. “What can you do?”
    In a panic, Lennie looked at George for help. “He can do anything you tell him,” said George. “He’s a good skinner. He can rassle grain bags, drive a cultivator. He can do anything. Just give him a try.”
    The boss turned on George. “Then why don’t you let him answer? What are you trying to put over?” (p. 22)
    I wonder why George wouldn’t let Lennie speak even just a little bit, just to prove that he can. I know that George is afraid of Lennie ruining their opportunity to work on the ranch, but would letting Lennie speak for himself be so horrible that the boss would fire them? At this point in the novel, we don’t know much about Lennie’s past (or George’s), but if and when we do, the answer to this question will most likely become apparent.

    In this chapter we meet some new characters, the men who work on the ranch, but one man stood out to me. This man is Curly, the boss’ son. This man immediately tried to pick a fight with Lennie because he doesn’t answer when spoken to. It is revealed by an old man working at the ranch that Curly doesn’t like big guys. Curly is small, so he is mad at the big guys because he isn’t big. This doesn’t seem like a good reason to dislike people, but even though we just met him, Curly seems like the kind of person to judge a man based on their appearance, not their character. I wonder how long George and Lennie will stay at the ranch, given that they are already on the radar of the boss and his son.

    1. stephaniec

      I agree, I wonder if their job will be in jeopardy since they are already on the bad side of the boss and his son.

  4. jaclynl

    In chapter two, we meet many new characters when George and Lennie are at the ranch. Something that stood out to me was Candy’s dog, who is said to be so old that it can barely walk, eat, or see. Carlson suggests that Candy should shoot the dog and get a new puppy to replace it.

    “Carlson said thoughtfully, “Well, looka here, Slim. I been thinkin’.
    That dog of Candy’s is so God damn old he can’t hardly walk. Stinks
    like hell, too. Ever’ time he comes into the bunk house I can smell
    him for two, three days. Why’n’t you get Candy to shoot his old dog
    and give him one of the pups to raise up?”

    Getting rid of the old dog because he is weak stood out to me because it seems to have a much deeper meaning. The idea that replacing an unhealthy dog with one that has more potential can apply to people as well. Think of Lennie and George for example. Lennie doesn’t speak much and isn’t as intelligent as George is. So, George tends to be the one that speaks and decides almost everything. Because he has this strength, he the one that has power over Lennie. With the dogs, the younger, more lively puppy is prioritized over the old dog for the same reasons. This shows that the weak, such as the old dog and Lennie are dominated by stronger characters.

    1. Kate Ma.

      That is a very good point and makes me wonder if dogs will be a reoccurring symbol for something throughout the novel.

      1. Zoe

        I agree, I definitely think Lennie will be able to fulfill his dream of having a puppy and George will possibly end up doing whatever it takes to get a dog.

  5. jane

    In chapter two, I noticed how protective George is of Lennie. Although he has complained multiple times about how stupid Lennie is, or how he holds George back from having a wife or reaching success, George is very defensive of Lennie.

    “‘Well, let him be handy,’ said George, ‘He don’t have to take after Lennie. Lennie didn’t do nothing to him. What’s he got against Lennie?’ . . . ‘Sure,’ said George. ‘I seen plenty tough little guys. But this Curley better not make no mistakes about Lennie. Lennie ain’t handy, but this Curley punk is gonna get hurt if he messes around with Lennie.'” (p. 26)

    In this chapter, we meet many characters, but the one that stuck out to me most was Curley. He is small but is said to be very tough and mean. The reason that he stuck out to me was that he helped to show the readers how much George cares for Lennie. George makes it clear that Curley should not dare to mess with Lennie and that Lennie will easily beat him up if Curley ever gives him a hard time. This is interesting to me, and makes me reconsider the relationship that George and Lennie have. I wonder why they travel together. Sure, they may be work partners, but I wonder if their relationship is any deeper. Do they have any other connection besides working together? How come they are so close?

    1. MadiR

      The way you view George is very similar to my perspective. I like the way that the author uses Curley to make George’s protectiveness over Lennie stand out. Even though George is sometimes mean to Lennie he still looks out for him.

  6. Kate Ma.

    In chapter two, George and Lennie arrived at the ranch. We get an idea about which characters will be protagonists and antagonists. What really interested me is the thought of why George is looking out for Lennie. Once the boss comes in and questions George and Lennie he grows suspicious as to why George is answering and Lennie stays silent. The boss can’t understand why George is looking out for Lennie, and that makes me realize that us as readers are unsure as well. Steinback creates these two men as opposites, contradicting each other. There must be a reason for this occurrence of these unlikely friends. I’m not even sure if I could classify them as friends, as it seems like George hates Lennie, yet stays with him through everything. He even left their old job with him because Lennie got in trouble, signifying some sort of tie or strong relationship. There must be a deeper meaning that Steinback will convey later in the story, revealing the truth as to why George sticks with Lennie.

    1. Emma Garbowitz

      I agree with you that George really does try to look out for Lennie but for no good reason. He doesn’t seem to act nicely towards him but maybe that is for another reason. However, at the same time he does want to help Lennie in any way possible and keep him safe and away from any danger.

  7. Emma Garbowitz

    Throughout chapter two of Of Mice and Men, George and Lennie arrive at the ranch they will be working at. When they arrive at the ranch, I think that Lennie’s personality is revealed a lot more. In the past chapter, the reader began to realize how Lennie is somewhat different, or not as bright as other people. Some may even think he is feeble minded or just stupid. However, now we can see that it is as if Lennie is a child trapped in a large man’s body. When Lennie has a conversation with George about Curly (the owner’s son), and George tells him that Curly feels almost threatened by him (just because he is big and tall) Lennie instantly became frightened and worried. The text states, “Look, Lennie! This here ain’t no setup. I’m scared. You gonna have trouble with that Curley guy. I seen that kind before. He was kinda feelin’ you out. He figures he’s got you scared and he’s gonna take a sock at you the first chance he gets.”
    Lennie’s eyes were frightened. “I don’t want no trouble,” he said plaintively. “Don’t let him sock me, George.” This shows how easily Lennie gets afraid and feels almost nervous about it. Lennie seems like the person who would be big, tough and strong but he really doesn’t want to get involved in wrong-doings. He especially doesn’t want to get into a fight. Furthermore, Lennie doesn’t always seem to know what he is doing and sometimes does the wrong thing. However, I think that as the novel goes on he will begin to comprehend things better and his memory will become stronger and stronger. Lastly, one final thing I thought was interesting was that George and Lennie’s last names were revealed in this chapter. George’s last name is Milton and Lennie’s last name is Small. This is really ironic considering Lennie is this large man. Maybe the author chose this as his last name because of his personality or because of something revealed later in the novel.

    1. laila sayegh

      I really like the comment you made about Lennie’s name. It’s ironic that his name completely contradicts his appearance.

  8. Sunna

    This chapter gave us more insight to George and Lennie’s friendship. George is clearly very protective of Lennie. He may insult him and be annoyed by him, but George would clearly do anything for Lennie. Since it’s been made clear that they aren’t related, I’m interested as to why George cares so deeply about Lennie. They could be childhood friends, but something has clearly kept them together for so long.

  9. laila sayegh

    From tonights reading, I got a lot of insight regarding the relationship between Lennie and George. George clearly has a lot of power over Lennie, yet Lennie seems to take the constant demanding from George. For example, George repeatedly tells Lennie what to say and do in certain situations. It is almost as though Lennie isn’t even his own person anymore. I
    In a way, I feel bad for Lennie because to me, it seems like he is being “used” by George for certain things. For instance, George will say things like, “Well, that was a lie. An’ I’m damn glad it was. If I was a relative of yours I’d shoot myself.”, yet when George wants something he speaks so differently of Lennie. He says, “Oh! I ain’t saying he’s bright. He ain’t. But I say he’s a God damn good worker. He can put up a four hundred pound bale.”
    But, there are many other moments when we can tell that George truly does care about Lennie. For example, the end of chapter one where Lennie and George were discussing all of the rabbits they’d have and their garden. I don’t think that George realizes the way he treats Lennie most of the time shouldn’t be tolerated but he just is so used to pushing Lennie around, he doesn’t understand what’s right.

  10. stephaniec

    Throughout chapter two of Of Mice and Men, George and Lennie arrive at the ranch. As we continued to read, we saw the relationship of George and Lennie progress. Curly, the owner’s son, started messing with Lennie after meeting him for the first time. George made it clear that Lennie was his friend and that he shouldn’t dare mess with his friend. However, in this chapter we learned that George and Lennie are not related. So why are George and Lennie so close?

  11. MadiR

    “You said I was your cousin, George.’ ‘Well, that was a lie. An’ I’m damn glad it was. If I was a relative of yours I’d shoot myself.”(p. 24)

    “I ain’t nothing to scream about, but that big bastard there can put up more grain alone than most pairs can. Lennie, who had been following the conversation back and forth with his eyes, smiled complacently at the compliment.”(p. 32)

    These two quotes are two very different sides of George. While reading chapter two the reader may notice the different ways George treats Lennie. Throughout the first two chapters you can find George always looking out for Lennie. Even though George is sometimes mean to Lennie it seems as if he almost regrets it. Sometimes George takes advantage of Lennie and sometimes he gives him advice. George is always alternating the way he treats Lennie in good and bad ways.

  12. Hannah Pitkofsky

    In this next chapter, George and Lennie begin work on the ranch, and we get a closer view into George and Lennie’s relationship. George is very protective of his kind, caring friend…maybe a little TOO protective, but when Lennie needs help, George is always right by his side. An example of this is shown when Curly, the ranch owner’s son, begins making fun of Lennie. George made it very clear to him that Lennie was his friend and no one dare hurt his friend. This shows a strong bond between the two boys and hopefully it will carry through as the story goes on.

  13. Sophie

    Through page 37 we’ve been able to clearly see the relationship between George and Lennie. George is responsible, and Lennie is very codependent. It reminds me of a typical older sibling to younger sibling relationship. George is always in charge. He gets annoyed by Lennie’s child-like actions and speaks his mind about it. But he is always there for Lennie. Whenever George yells and reprimands Lennie, George always makes sure to follow through and make amends because he loves Lennie. Then on Lennie’s side, since he has some sort of mental disability, it is bound for him to look up to George. He listens when George tells him what to do, and always tries his best to please George. Their relationship confuses me however, because they are not related. How did they meet? What kind of situation was it that made them stay together for so long?

  14. Zoe

    Chapter two introduced many new characters, however, I felt like most of the chapter revealed the uniqueness of Lennie and George’s relationship. Most of the time throughout the chapter, George takes the lead and doesn’t let Lennie say a word. George constantly looks down upon Lennie, but I think there’s more to it than just trying to hurt Lennie. I think just like a mom is stern to protect her child, George is being stern to protect Lennie from being jobless and starving. Although in the beginning, George lies to his boss to protect Lennie from letting himself ruin his chance at a job. Although this can seem sweet, George becomes pretty mean to Lennie and even says that if they were relatives he would kill himself. Although this is incredibly mean and cruel to Lennie, at the end of the day, or chapter, George still kept his promise with the dog and will probably do what he can to get a dog from Slim. This relationship will hopefully be able to grow throughout the rest of the book.

  15. Casey

    In this chapter we see how much George cares about Lennie. George is very protective over Lennie and is quick to help or defend him in any scenario. From the first chapter, I thought that they were brothers or even cousins based on the way they act towards each other. George often gets annoyed by Lennie or insults him, but that wouldn’t make him any less willing to stand up for Lennie. In this chapter. we found out that they are not related whatsoever, so I’m curious on how they met or how they know each other.

  16. maxwellw

    This chapter seems to establish a more static setting. A foreboding mood is created subtly hinting at all the possible ways Lennie might get himself into trouble. Even though the people on the ranch seem friendly, none of them seem to have close relationships. The friendship that George and Lennie’s share stands out on this ranch.

  17. johnh1

    I think that it is interesting that all these American novels have a lot of racism shown in them. In books like To Kill A Mockingbird, or more previously Tom Sawyer. Although To Kill A Mockingbird has a much more violent racism, they both have racial slurs and feature the looking down upon of Black people. Of Mice And Men Unsurprisingly contains racism as well. In the book when referring to the Stable Buck they refer to him by the n-word. However, there is a similarity to the way it is in the other books and relates to a line from To Kill A Mockingbird when Atticus tells Scout not to say a word because it is “common”. This is also in Tom Sawyer, a book we read in 7th grade to a lesser extent. In it The people who say it are just uneducated or stupid. I think the same is here. Sometimes maybe at the time it wasn’t hateful racism, just ignorance and not knowing any better.

    1. josepha4

      That’s interesting I didn’t think of anyone in this novel racist but it’s now an obvious theme in the books we have been reading now that its been pointed out.

  18. josepha4

    In this chapter we learned about the deepness that George cares for Lennie. He speaks up for him he brings him places he arranges job interviews for the both of them and even gives him advice to benefit his life. However, i’m beginning to think of their relationship as more touch and go, sometimes George and Lennie have a great time talking about their future farm and animals they will own. But, in this chapter we hear George say” If I was a relative of yours i’d shoot myself”. This exemplifies the patience he must have for Lennie. From another perspective George might be overprotective of his companion. He doesn’t let him speak and is condescending when he speaks to him. Maybe Lennie would be better off if he made his own mistakes and learned from them with experience and gain knowledge his own way.

  19. angelicac1

    This chapter had me thinking about Lennie and George’s friendship once again and how George always goes through this cycle of insulting Lennie to protecting him. On (p.24), George states, “If I was a relative of yours I’d shoot myself.” Reading this sentence made me feel appalled because I believed that although George cares about Lennie even when he gets on his nerves, I thought George would never say such thing towards Lennie. On (p.26), George starts to act protective and defensive over Lennie. Reading about his quick protectiveness started to confuse me and I began to question how George has high and low amounts of patience for Lennie. The friendship shared between these two men is definitely an interesting friendship.

  20. trinityt

    In this second chapter, the friendship between George and Lennie continues to interest me. Even though George is rude and mean to Lennie from time to time, he still cares about Lennie. “‘You said I was your cousin, George.’ ‘Well, that was a lie. An’ I’m damn glad it was. If I was a relative of yours I’d shoot myself.'” (p.24). This was quite harsh, but moments later, George defends Lennie by stating, “‘Well, he better watch out for Lennie. Lennie ain’t no fighter, but Lennie’s strong and quick and Lennie don’t know no rules.'” (p.27). No matter how much Lennie annoys George, George still cares about him and defends him. I’m looking forward to how their relationship/friendship will develop as the story continues.

  21. Brishti Sarkar

    One thing I found interesting in the reading was of the way that George truly feels about Lennie. Several incidents involve him wishing that he did not have Lennie and that he would be better off alone. He often contemplates about how Lennie is nothing but a nuisance. However, he still will defend Lennie if he is ever threatened. This factor can lead to them being compared as if they were brothers. George is like an older brother who “hates” the younger brother, Lennie, and constantly talks little of him. However, if someone like Curley were to pick on Lennie, George would do anything to make sure that Lennie is safe. While George is constantly annoyed with Lennie, he still cares for him and wouldn’t want anything bad to happen, much like an older brother would for a younger one.


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