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Why do George and Lennie run away from Weed in Of Mice and Men?

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batgirl527 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:03 AM via web

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Why do George and Lennie run away from Weed in Of Mice and Men?

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:10 AM (Answer #1)

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George and Lennie are forced to run away from Weed because Lennie frightened a girl so much, she accused him of trying to rape her. When George tells the story to Slim, George explains that Lennie just likes to touch soft things and the girl was wearing a dress made of soft material. When he asked to touch it, the girl said "yes" but became frightened when Lennie would not let go. The more she tried to escape, the tighter Lennie held on to her dress. She assumed Lennie was trying to rape her and the men of Weed formed a posse to try to catch Lennie. Both Lennie and George were able to escape by hiding in a ditch and then leaving the area.

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted January 8, 2010 at 8:03 PM (Answer #2)

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In the novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, the part of the plot where George and Lennie run away from Weed is very important. This is because it shows the beginning or continuation of a behavioral pattern. It also shows that George is beginning to cotton on to that fact and that it is beginning to cause him anxiety. Indeed, the lines "All the time somethin like that, all the time." are foreshadowing the events that are to come. George does his best to shelter himself and Lennie from the consequences of the unusual behavior, but will soon realise that they are going to occur again and again, over and over, becuase learning-challenged Lennie has difficulty learning and remembering the lesson of past experiences. When the end finally comes, we may speculate that these thoughts are in his mind when he makes his tragic and terrible decision.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:16 AM (Answer #3)

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With his focus on the alienation of the itinerant workers in California during the Great Depression, John Steinbeck has his main characters emerge from Weed much as Moses was found is the bullrushes/weeds of the Nile:  alone and without a home.  Like Moses, they, too, flee oppression, for Lennie has gotten them into trouble in Weed by grabbing onto a girl's dress that he "Jus' wanted to feel--jus' wanted to pet it like it was a mouse."

When the Samson-like Lennie holds onto the dress, the girl panicks, sensing his strength.  George relives the scene with Lennie:

She jerks back and you hold on like it was a mouse.  She yells and we got to hide in a irrigation ditch all day with guys lookin' for us, and we got to sneak out in the dark and get outta the country.  All the time somethin' like that--all the time.

The women in this novella, "Of Mice and Men," are, indeed, somewhat like Delilha of the Bible, for they tempt the men and interfere with the masculinity of the male characters.  There is no place for them in the fraternity of men, for they cause conflict and pose danger constantly, certainly for George and the unsuspecting and childlike Lennie.

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hakbar | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 17, 2010 at 4:54 PM (Answer #4)

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The two men were forced to run away because Lennie, who likes to touch soft things, sees a red dress that he begins to touch. His touch becomes aggressive and is mistaken for a possible rape attempt. George helps Lennie escape because he had promised Lennie's aunt Clara he would take care of Lennie when she passed. George feels responsible for Lennie and knows he wouldn't hurt anybody because Lennie has a mental disability. Therefore they leave Weed and find a job in another town at a ranch where Lennie gets into trouble agian and George is forced to take care of him once more.

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