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Please describe the main characters in Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck.
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High School Teacher
The two primary characters in John Steinbeck's novella Of Mice and Men are George and Lennie. The two men are nearly polar opposites in every way. While Lennie is a giant of a man who is mentally challenged, George is a small, spare man with a quick mind. George once promised Lennie's nearest relative, an aunt, that he would take care of Lennie; he has kept his promise, despite the fact that his life would have been much easier without Lennie.
Lennie Small is an amazing worker, but because he has the mental capabilities of a child, he often gets himself (and by extension George) in trouble. He likes to pet things, like mice, puppies,and soft material, but he is unintentionally too rough and inadvertently kills things, including a woman.
George Milton, like Lennie, is an itinerant ranch hand who is forced to move more than he would like because of George. He is the "brains" of the duo and often acts like he does not like Lennie; however, the truth is that George could dump Lennie any time but does not.
“I ain't got no people. I seen the guys that go around on the ranches alone. That ain't no good. They don't have no fun. After a long time they get mean. They get wantin' to fight all the time. . . 'Course Lennie's a God damn nuisance most of the time, but you get used to goin' around with a guy an' you can't get rid of him.”
When Lennie kills Curley's wife, George knows that Lennie could never survive a trial and prison. Though he does not want to do it, George performs one final act of kindness for his friend and kills him.
The one thing the two men share is a dream for something more. Their wants are simple: a small plot of land on which they can plant a garden and (for Lennie) raise some rabbits. While George, at least, knows that this dream will probably never happen, he maintains hope for both of them.
These are the primary characters in the novel, but they meet several others at the ranch where the story takes place. Some are misfits (like Crooks, Candy, and Curley's wife) who connect themselves to George and Lennie in some way. The ranch owner's son, Curley, acts like he is not one of them, but he is also a misfit because of his own cowardice. Carlson is oblivious, rough, and careless about the things that matter. Slim is his opposite, observant and aware, compassionate but realistic.
This cast of characters converges on a ranch for a few days, and most of them are not the same for having met.
Posted by auntlori on August 8, 2013 at 1:40 AM (Answer #1)
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