In "Of Mice and Men," what are some quotes that detail George's speaking for Lennie?I need a quote for an essay about George's being a good friend. I have used the fact that George speaks for...

In "Of Mice and Men," what are some quotes that detail George's speaking for Lennie?

I need a quote for an essay about George's being a good friend. I have used the fact that George speaks for Lennie. so i need a quote stating this.

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

On the night before they go to the ranch to work, George and Lennie, sit by a pool of water and talk.  As George bemoans "the swell time I could have without you," Lennie becomes hurt and says he will go away and leave George alone. George apologizes, saying,

No--look!  I was jus' foolin', lennie.  'Cause I want you to stay with me.  Jesus Christ, somebody'd shoot you for a coyote if you was by yourself.  No, you stay with me.  Your Aunt Clara wouldn't like you running off by yourself, even if she is dead.

After this, Lennie asks George to tell him about the "rabbits."  George's voice deepens and he talks.  As he recites the "dream" they have of owning a ranch and having rabbits, George says,

Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world.  They got no family...They ain't got nothing to look ahead to....With us it ain't like that.  We got a future.  We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us.  We don't have to sit in no bar room blowin' in our jack ....If them other guys gets in jail they can rot for all anybody gives a damn.  But not us."

Certainly, George demonstrates his being a good friend, too, when he instructs Lennie as to what to do if he gets into trouble.  He tells Lennie,

I want you to look around here.  You can remember this place, can't you?  The ranch is about a quarter mile up that way.  Just follow the river?

(Ironically, Lennie does have to run to this place after accidentally killing Curley's wife.)

When the boss questions them the second day upon their arrival at the ranch, George tells this boss that Lennie is not much of a talker, but

...he's sure a hell of a good worker.  Strong as a bull....He's a good skinner.  He can rassel grain bags, drive a cultivator.  He can do anything . Just give him a try....Oh! I ain't saying he's bright...But...he's a damn good worker.  He can put up a four hundred pound bale.

When the boss becomes suspicious of George's praising Lennie so much, George lies to protect his friend, saying that Lennie is his cousin and

I told his old lady I'd take care of him.  He got kicked in the head by a horse when he was a kid.  He's awright.  Just ain't bright.  But he can do anything you tell him.

In a tragic way in the final section of Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men," George repeats many of his same words of friendship to Lennie.  He assures Lennie before he shoots him,

No, Lennie. I ain't mad.  I never been mad, an' I ain't now.  That's a thing I want ya to know.




bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

George spends most of the play either speaking for Lennie or defending him to others. An obvious example is the repeated dream of living in a house together and raising rabbits (Act I, Scene 1). George defends Lennie's strength and work habits to the Boss (Act I, Scene 2), and then warns Candy about Lennie's strength and how he may react to a fight with Curly (Act I, Scene 2). George later calls Lennie "a nuisance," but then tells Slim that "he's like a kid. There ain't no more harm in him than a kid neither..." (Act II, Scene 1). He defends Lennie until the end, when he himself must put an end to Lennie's string of strength-related calamities.

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