George wants Lennie to remember several things in chapter one, most notably that when they go to the ranch to apply for jobs the next day, Lennie has to be very quiet and let George do all the talking. But George tells Lennie that the thing he never forgets is their dream of owning their own farm. When Lennie asks George to again tell him about the farm they will someday buy, George says:
You got it by heart. You can do it yourself.
Nevertheless, George begins to recite the familiar story. Lennie shows he remembers it by breaking in with familiar refrains, such as that they are going to
live off the fatta the lan’ . . .
The dream of owning their own place sustains the two of them in their uncertain life, in which they travel from job to job. Being together and repeating the story of the farm gives them hope that one day this dream might come true.