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What "sneaky" thing does Lennie try to do in chapter 3?

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Soccer223 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 26, 2013 at 11:21 PM via web

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What "sneaky" thing does Lennie try to do in chapter 3?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 27, 2013 at 12:03 AM (Answer #1)

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Lennie shows himself to be "a childlike man" when he tries to sneak a pup that Slim has given him into his bunk.  He holds the pup close to his chest, hiding him and thinking that he is being covert in the process.  It is a sneaky thing because he knows that George is not going to allow him to keep the pup with him in the bunk, but he is so committed and so eager to hold it and pet the pup that he believes that sneaking the pup in is the only way for him to enjoy the puppy's company.  Steinbeck describes this in pointed detail:  "He [Lennie] went directly to his bunk and lay down and turned his face to the wall and drew up his knees."  By facing the wall, Lennie thinks that he can sneak the puppy past George and pet it throughout the evening.  Lennie shows his "sneakiness" by "concealing it against his stomach."  Lennie displays his child- like view of the world in how "sneaky" he strives to be.  It is evident that his plan is futile, just as in the opening of the novel in which he tries to keep the mouse when George knows that he sees it.  Lennie's display at being "sneaky" is where his child- like nature is illuminated.

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