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In Of Mice and Men, why does Curley pick a fight with Lennie, the strongest of all the...

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cutieee | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted September 15, 2010 at 4:55 AM via web

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In Of Mice and Men, why does Curley pick a fight with Lennie, the strongest of all the men, instead of George?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 15, 2010 at 5:14 AM (Answer #1)

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What you are saying makes sense, after all, we're told that bullies like to pick on the weak so that it makes them look strong.  But if you think about it, physical strength or weakness is not the only kind.  There is also mental/emotional strength or weakness.  I think that Curley notices that Lennie is mentally and emotionally weak.  I think he believes that Lennie will not be likely to fight back.

If Lennie will not fight back, then fighting him is great for Curley.  Curley gets too look really tough because Lennie is such a big strong guy.  So he'll get to look tough without really having to risk being hurt.

I think that is Curley's thought process for why he fights Lennie instead of George.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 15, 2010 at 5:33 AM (Answer #2)

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Of course, the context of this passage is key to understanding why it is that Curley picks on Lennie. He is being made fun off by the other men in the ranch because they recognise how weak he actually is as a character. Note what Carlson says to Curley just before he turns to Lennie:

Carlson laughed. "You God damn punk," he said. "You tried to throw a scare into Slim, an' you couldn't make it stick. slim throwed a scare inta you. You're yella as a frog belly. I don't care if you're the best welter in the country. You come for me, and I'll kick your God damn head off."

For somebody who is as proud and arrogant as Curley, this is unacceptable and so he seeks to find an easy target that he can take his anger out on and also convince himself that he is no as "yella as a frog belly." Lennie is still lost in his daydream of the farm, and smiling abstractedly, thus Curley thinks he is laughing at him and picks him. It is because of the context of being made fun of that Curley feels he has to prove himself:

Then Curley's rage exploded. "Come on, ya big bastard. Get up on your feet. No big son-of-a-bitch is gonna laugh at me. I'll show ya who's yella."

This of course ends in even further humiliation for him as Lennie crushes his hand.

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abuelgasim | Student | eNoter

Posted February 4, 2012 at 6:24 PM (Answer #4)

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Of course, the context of this passage is key to understanding why it is that Curley picks on Lennie. He is being made fun off by the other men in the ranch because they recognise how weak he actually is as a character. Note what Carlson says to Curley just before he turns to Lennie:

Carlson laughed. "You God damn punk," he said. "You tried to throw a scare into Slim, an' you couldn't make it stick. slim throwed a scare inta you. You're yella as a frog belly. I don't care if you're the best welter in the country. You come for me, and I'll kick your God damn head off."

For somebody who is as proud and arrogant as Curley, this is unacceptable and so he seeks to find an easy target that he can take his anger out on and also convince himself that he is no as "yella as a frog belly." Lennie is still lost in his daydream of the farm, and smiling abstractedly, thus Curley thinks he is laughing at him and picks him. It is because of the context of being made fun of that Curley feels he has to prove himself:

Then Curley's rage exploded. "Come on, ya big bastard. Get up on your feet. No big son-of-a-bitch is gonna laugh at me. I'll show ya who's yella."

This of course ends in even further humiliation for him as Lennie

 

 

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abuelgasim | Student | eNoter

Posted February 4, 2012 at 6:24 PM (Answer #5)

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Of course, the context of this passage is key to understanding why it is that Curley picks on Lennie. He is being made fun off by the other men in the ranch because they recognise how weak he actually is as a character. Note what Carlson says to Curley just before he turns to Lennie:

Carlson laughed. "You God damn punk," he said. "You tried to throw a scare into Slim, an' you couldn't make it stick. slim throwed a scare inta you. You're yella as a frog belly. I don't care if you're the best welter in the country. You come for me, and I'll kick your God damn head off."

For somebody who is as proud and arrogant as Curley, this is unacceptable and so he seeks to find an easy target that he can take his anger out on and also convince himself that he is no as "yella as a frog belly." Lennie is still lost in his daydream of the farm, and smiling abstractedly, thus Curley thinks he is laughing at him and picks him. It is because of the context of being made fun of that Curley feels he has to prove himself:

Then Curley's rage exploded. "Come on, ya big bastard. Get up on your feet. No big son-of-a-bitch is gonna laugh at me. I'll show ya who's yella."

This of course ends in even further humiliation for him as Lennie

 

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abuelgasim | Student | eNoter

Posted February 4, 2012 at 6:25 PM (Answer #6)

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punk," he said. "You tried to throw a scare into Slim, an' you couldn't make it stick. slim throwed a scare inta you. You're yella as a frog belly. I don't care if you're the best welter in the country. You come for me, and I'll kick your God damn head off."

For somebody who is as proud and arrogant as Curley, this is unacceptable and so he seeks to find an easy target that he can take his anger out on and also convince himself that he is no as "yella as a frog belly." Lennie is still lost in his daydream of the farm, and smiling abstractedly, thus Curley thinks he is laughing at him and picks him. It is because of the context of being made fun of that Curley feels he has to prove himself:

Then Curley's rage exploded. "Come on, ya big bastard. Get up on your feet. No big son-of-a-bitch is gonna laugh at me. I'll show ya who's yella."

This of course ends in even further humiliation for him as Lennie

Of course, the context of this passage is key to understanding why it is that Curley picks on Lennie. He is being made fun off by the other men in the ranch because they recognise how weak he actually is as a character. Note what Carlson says to Curley just before he turns to Lennie:

 

For somebody who is as proud and arrogant as Curley, this is unacceptable and so he seeks to find an easy target that he can take his anger out on and also convince himself that he is no as "yella as a frog belly." Lennie is still lost in his daydream of the farm, and smiling abstractedly, thus Curley thinks he is laughing at him and picks him. It is because of the context of being made fun of that Curley feels he has to prove himself:

Then Curley's rage exploded. "Come on, ya big bastard. Get up on your feet. No big son-of-a-bitch is gonna laugh at me. I'll show ya who's yella."

This of course ends in even further humiliation for him as Lennie

Of course, the context of this passage is key to understanding why it is that Curley picks on Lennie. He is being made fun off by the other men in the ranch because they recognise how weak he actually is as a character. Note what Carlson says to Curley just before he turns to Lennie:

Carlson laughed. "You God damn punk," he said. "You tried to throw a scare into Slim, an' you couldn't make it stick. slim throwed a scare inta you. You're yella as a frog belly. I don't care if you're the best welter in the country. You come for me, and I'll kick your God damn head off."

For somebody who is as proud and arrogant as Curley, this is unacceptable and so he seeks to find an easy target that he can take his anger out on and also convince himself that he is no as "yella as a frog belly." Lennie is still lost in his daydream of the farm, and smiling abstractedly, thus Curley thinks he is laughing at him and picks him. It is because of the context of being made fun of that Curley feels he has to prove himself:

Then Curley's rage exploded. "Come on, ya big bastard. Get up on your feet. No big son-of-a-bitch is gonna laugh at me. I'll show ya who's yella."

This of course ends in even further humiliation for him as Lennie

 

 

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cool2sik | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 19, 2012 at 3:02 AM (Answer #7)

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cos he's a fatsi and ate his dinner for the evnin' before you know, neva eat a man's dinna

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