Study Guide

Of Mice and Men

by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men Characters

Characters Discussed (Great Characters in Literature)

Lennie Small

Lennie Small, a simple-minded man of great size and strength. His dream is to have a chicken and rabbit farm with his friend George Milton and to be allowed to feed the rabbits. George tells him about the farm over and over and keeps Lennie in line by threatening not to let him feed the rabbits. The two men are hired to buck barley on a ranch. Lennie crushes the hand of the owner’s son, kills a puppy while stroking it, and breaks a woman’s neck, all unintentionally.

George Milton

George Milton, Lennie’s friend, a small and wiry man. He assumes responsibility for his simple friend and in the new job does the talking for both. At last, after the unintentional killing by Lennie, George knows that he can no longer save his friend; after telling him once again of their plan for the farm, he shoots him.


Candy, a swamper on the barley ranch. He makes George’s and Lennie’s dream seem possible, for he has three hundred and fifty dollars and wants to join them.


Curley, the son of the ranch owner. Vain of his ability as a prizefighter and jealous of his slatternly bride, he provokes Lennie into squeezing his hand. Pleased that Curley’s hand has been broken, his wife comes to make advances to Lennie, who accidentally kills her.


Slim, the jerkline skinner on the ranch. He gives Lennie the puppy and persuades Curley to say his hand was caught in a machine.


Crooks, the black stable hand. Cool to Lennie at first, he is disarmed by Lennie’s innocence.

Of Mice and Men Themes and Characters

This short novel allows Steinbeck to focus his attention on one of the oldest issues in human relations: people's responsibility for other...

(The entire section is 399 words.)

Of Mice and Men Characters / Techniques

As one might expect in such a short work, there is little character development in Of Mice and Men. Instead, Steinbeck concentrates on...

(The entire section is 194 words.)

Of Mice and Men Characters

Candy is the old, disabled ranch hand who is helpless to stop the shooting of his dog and who knows that he too...

(The entire section is 1110 words.)