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Salinas Valley, California during the Great Depression in the 1930 s. Lennie Small and his friend, George Milton, were forced to leave their homes because Lennie was accused of raping a girl from another town. The book begins with the two of them hiding from the angry townspeople. Lennie had a tendency to kill small, soft animals by accident; he was unaware of his own strength. This repeatedly leads to severe problems. George Milton - George is small, intelligent, dark of face, has restless eyes and sharp, strong features with every part of him defined.
He is a cousin to Lennie and loves him very much. Always has to bail Lennie out of his troubles. Lennie Small - Lennie is unnaturally large and has a shapeless face. He drags his feet when he walks and lets his arms hang. He is mentally retarded and needs George's constant attention and care. He has an infatuation with anything soft and furry.
He acts impulsively which gets him and George into trouble numerous times. Curley - Curley is the boss's son, and was a welterweight boxer. He was short and stocky, and wore high-heeled boots and spurs to prove he wasn't a laboring man. He believes himself superior to everyone. Candy-He is an old man that is missing a hand.
He is an outcast and is discriminated against. He offers his life savings to George and Lennie to help finance their dream. He wants to be a part of it and live on the farm with them. He has a friend and long time companion, his dog.
Candy is afraid of being alone but he consents to the killing of his dog and wishes he could have killed him himself after it is over. Candy represents what will ultimately happen to all ranch hands. They will get old and have no place to go. Candy is very old and has hardly any money to his name. Crooks-Black stable worker. He is disfigured and is an outcast as well as Candy.
He has a place of his own and stays there by himself. He doesn't want company. He also wants to be part of George and Lennie's dream. He said that he would work for free. He gives up on the farm dream when he realizes it isn't going to work out. He is the only one who understands Lennie, besides George, and befriends him.
He looks past Lennie's mental handicap and Lennie looks past Crooks' physical handicap. Slim-Tall, thin and quiet. Slim is both respected and admired. Everyone seeks his approval, even Curley, who seems to have contempt for everyone else on the ranch. The others give into Slim because his word is the law. He is the voice of reason and understanding, and he consoles George after he has killed Lennie.
Slim is the kind of man that George hopes to become one day. Carlson- He has a lack of concern for other people's feelings and doesn't take time to understand them. He is an insensitive person who cares nothing for others. He pushes for the killing of Candy's dog and doesn't understand why George is so upset after he has killed Lennie. Carlson is the type of man Curley's wife-There isn't much known about her. She isn't even given a name but referred to as Curley's wife.
She is lonely because Curley doesn't pay much attention to her. This lack of attention from Curley forces her to seek it elsewhere. She flirts with the other ranch hands but they pay her no attention either. She is in reality the end of George's and Lennie's dream.
When Lennie kills her their dream is forever lost. Boss-There is little known about him, except that Curley is his son. He interviews Lennie and George when they first come to the farm. He becomes suspicious that George is trying to put one over him because he won't let Lennie talk. He thinks that George is going to take Lennie's pay, he warns them he has seen wise guys before. He says that nobody can get away with anything.
They can't trick him. He isn't a trustworthy person. Lennie and George are hiding after getting off a bus that took them from Weed to Soledad. They were forced to leave Weed because Lennie was accused of rape. This was a very common occurrence - not being accused of rape, but being driven out of when they were. They went from ranch to ranch.
They sit eating and talking about the past and talking about the future - the future where they own a ranch of their own with rabbits and chickens, and where they live off "the fatta the lan'. " They discuss what there plans are for the next day; they are to go to the ranch and George is to do all the talking. Lennie and George arrived at the ranch where an old man introduced them to their new home. The boss walked in while George and Candy (the old man) are talking. He takes down George and Lennie's names, where they worked before, and what skills they have. George answers every time for Lennie, which makes the boss curious. He asks George what his interest in Lennie is, thinking that George is out to get Lennie's pay.
George told the boss that Lennie had been kicked in the head by a horse when he was little, and he had told Lennie's aunt that he would take care of Lennie. When the boss left, Candy came back in with his dog after listening to the conversation through the door. Curley, the boss's on, came in soon after. He noticed the two new guys and saw a challenge - especially in Lennie. Once Curley left, George and Candy had a discussion about him. Candy said that Curley just does not like men who are bigger than him.
Curley has been even cockier since he got married. Candy also said that Curley's wife is a bit of a "tart, and then he left to go to work. Soon after, Curley's wife entered looking for her husband. After flirting with George and w...
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