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In "Of Mice and Men", what does Lennie not have in his pocket?In Steinbeck's...

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karina20 | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 8, 2009 at 3:26 PM via web

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In "Of Mice and Men", what does Lennie not have in his pocket?

In Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men.'

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 9, 2009 at 12:35 AM (Answer #1)

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Lennie does not have his work ticket in his pocket; he fears that he has lost it, but George has kept it for him knowing Lennie's childlike nature and his forgetfulness:

'...you remember about us goin' into Murray and Ready's, and they give us work cards and bus tickets?'

'Oh, sure, George.  I remember that now.'  His hands went quickly into his his side coat pockets.  he said gently, 'George...I ain't got mine.  I musta lost it.'  He looked down at the ground in despair.

'You never had none, you crazy bastard.  I got both of 'em here.  Think I'd let you carry your own work card?'

Lennie grinned with relief. 'I...I thought I put it in my side pocket.' His hand went into the epocket again.

Then, George realizes that Lennie has something in his pocket--the dead mouse.

Certainly, this early passage is very revealing of the personalities and nature of the two characters as well as establishing the relationship of George to Lennie.  For, the reader perceives that Lennie is dependent upon George because of his diminshed mental capabilities while at the same time George is parent-like and as such feels some worth in his having someone to take care of.  Later George explains this to another worker:

Guys like us, that work on ranches are the loneliest guys in the world...They don't belong no place...With us it ain't like that.  We got a furture.  We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn. 

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parkerlee | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted January 9, 2009 at 12:14 AM (Answer #3)

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Don't you mean the opposite? Lenny doesn't have the usual things a man carries around in his pocket - no cigarettes, matches, chewing gum, or even a wallet but.....a dead mouse he had caught down by the Salinas River. Lennie had meant no harm but had petted it to death. This is, of course, a foreshadowing of what is to come at the end of the story.

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