How do Lennie and George's plans, in Of Mice and Men,  go awry in the story?Can you use a quote from the book with your response?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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In John Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men, George and Lennie's plans to own a piece of land of their own, and be their own bosses, go awry in many different ways.

Lennie and George are very specific about their plans. In fact, the story of their plans is one of Lennie's favorites to hear.

"O.K. Someday- we're gonna get the jack together and we're gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an' a cow and some pigs and-"
"An' live off the fatta the lan'," Lennie shouted.

Lennie and George had to put their plans on hold given they had to leave their last job in Weed. Lennie "got in trouble" in Weed by touching a girl and they had to run.

"O.K.," said George. "An' you ain't gonna do no bad things like you done in Weed, neither."

Lennie looked puzzled. "Like I done in Weed?"
"Oh, so ya forgot that too, did ya? Well, I ain't gonna remind ya, fear ya do it again."

A light of understanding broke on Lennie's face.

"They run us outa Weed," he exploded triumphantly.

"Run us out, hell," said George disgustedly. "We run. They was lookin' for us, but they didn't catch us."

Lennie giggled happily. "I didn't forget that, you bet."

Lennie is certainly a handful for George and the only thing keeping him from saving enough money in order to purchase some land of his own.

The fight between Lennie and Curley threatens George's plans for their future. Slim knows that if Curley tells his father about Lennie crushing his hand that the men will get fired.

George said, "Slim, will we get canned now? We need the stake. Will Curley's old man can us now?"

Slim smiled wryly. He knelt down beside Curley. "You got your senses in hand enough to listen?" he asked. Curley nodded. "Well, then listen," Slim went on. "I think you got your han' caught in a machine. If you don't tell nobody what happened, we ain't going to. But you jus' tell an' try to get this guy canned and we'll tell ever'body, an' then will you get the laugh."

George admits that the fight between Lennie and Curley could threaten their plans.

Later, after Lennie kills Curley's wife, George knows that Lennie has finally crossed the line. Certainly still embarrassed by the fight, Curley states that he is going to kill Lennie. George has no choice but to "save" Lennie by killing him.

In the end, it is Lennie's unfortunate behaviors/actions which threaten the plans he and George have made to buy their own land and be their own bosses.


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