The basis of George and Lennie's relationship concerns their mutual need for company, friendship, and affection. As migrant workers, both George and Lennie cherish each other's company and appreciate their companionship as they travel throughout the western United States looking for jobs. George acts as Lennie's caretaker, and Lennie provides George with much-needed friendship, comradery, and company. Their relationship is based on mutual understanding, generosity, and compassion.
Candy and his dog share a similar relationship to George and Lennie, which is based on compassion and support. Candy provides and cares for his ancient dog while his dog gives him company and affection. Candy is heartbroken after Carlson kills his old dog and regrets not taking his dog's life himself. Candy's close bond with his dog mirrors George and Lennie's friendship, and the outcome of their relationship foreshadows George's decision to kill Lennie out of mercy. Unlike Candy, who allows Carlson to kill his dog, George takes matters into his own hands and ends Lennie's life before Curley's party has the chance to torture him.
Curley and his wife's relationship is based on control and resentment. Curley is portrayed as an overprotective, extremely jealous husband, who is constantly worried that his wife is cheating on him. Curley does not trust his wife and gets into a serious argument with Slim after he accuses him of flirting with her. Curley's wife resents her husband's controlling, aggressive nature and feels stifled and oppressed on the farm. She admits to Lennie that she regrets marrying Curley and feels extremely lonely on the farm.