i have to answer these question and quotes to back up the answers for tomorrow please can someone please help me x 1. why does George instruct Lennie to familiarize himself with the clearing they...

i have to answer these question and quotes to back up the answers for tomorrow please can someone please help me x
1. why does George instruct Lennie to familiarize himself with the clearing they are staying in?  why is George angry with Lennie after the conversation with his boss ?

Expert Answers
William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

ENotes has a policy limiting answers to not more than one question at a time, or to two questions if they are closely related.  You seem to be doing very well if you have already answered 22 questions from your assignment. I will answer one or two more and hope that other educators will provide some help with the others.

George tells his feeble-minded friend Lennie to familiarize himself with the clearing by the river where they are camping because he wants him to come back to that exact spot and hide and wait for him if he should get into trouble at the ranch where they are going to be working starting the next day. George has had a lot of trouble with Lennie in the past, for one reason or another, and he is anticipating trouble at their new job. This is what he says in Chapter 1:

"Look, Lennie, I want you to look around here. You can remember this place, can't you? The ranch is about a quarter of a mile up that way. Just follow the river."

"Sure," said Lennie. "I can remember this. Di'n't I remember about not gonna say a word?'

"Course you did. Well, look. Lennie--if you jus' happen to get in trouble like you always done before, I want you to come right here an' hide in the brush."

George will know exactly where to find Lennie when he does get into serious trouble at the ranch by accidentally killing Curley's wife, so the story will end neatly where it began in the peaceful setting by the river.

It was George's decision to sleep by the river although they were only about a quarter of a mile from the ranch, where they could have gotten dinner and bunks to sleep in. He tells Lennie:

"I like it here. Tomorra we're gonna go to work. I seen thrashin' machines on the way down. That means we'll be bucking grain bags, bustin' a gut. Tonight I'm gonna lay right here and look up. I like it."

The boss will be angry when they show up late for work the next day. The crews have already gone out into the fields and George and Lennie will miss a whole day's productive work at a time when the boss is shorthanded. George's attitude is a good way of characterizing him. He is smart, independent, resentful of authority. This helps to explain why he wants to own his own farm. The boss will take an immediate dislike to him because he will sense George's potentially rebellious attitude.



mcfox1948 | Student

The boss is suspicious of George when Lennie is conspiciously silent. The boss asks George if Lennie isn't much of a talker, and George agrees with that assessment, adding that Lennie is as "strong as a bull." Lennie finds this amusing, and repeats the phrase in his delight. Unfortunately, it also defines Lennie's subnormal intellect, emphasizing his disability. With those few short words, Lennie has allowed himself open to criticism, which he is unable to discern. The boss is particularly suspicious when George stresses Lennie's brute strength; he shows this when he asks George "What are you sellin'?" showing that it was extremely uncommon of for men to travel together. George's praise of Lennie raises a flag in the bosses mind. He cannot understand why George is so interested in Lennie. George has to lie and tell the boss Lennie is his "cousin", and that he promised his mother he would "look out for him." This seems to satisy the boss, but only marginally; he is still suspicious, and tells George that he is watching them. During the Great Depression, a time of extraordinarly poverty in America, people came to look after themselves and their families. People lost their jobs, their homes, their way of life. Those who did for others, some noted, hurt themselves. "Generosity should begin at home" became the catch phrase. Psychology teaches us that when people feel safe and secure, they are more generous. This shows that the economy was so unstable, people responded by being less giving, less willing to help out someone else. 

George was irritated with Lennie for speaking because it showed the boss that he was less than intelligent, and during these difficult times, one did not strive to demonstrate one's deficiencies.

Candy, "the old swamper" you refer to introduces Curley's wife after Curley comes in, pugnacious, and ready for a fight. George knows that this could potentially put himself and Lennie is a bad situation. George is sharp, he can avoid trouble, but as Candy points out, Curley is resentful of large men because he feels inferior towards them. He adds that Curley's aggression has been exacerbated by Curley's recent nuptials. Candy says he has been in a worse mood since his marriage; he suspects Curley's young wife of having the "eye" after a mere two weeks into the marriage. Candy determines George will understand when he sees her. This clearly foreshadows Curley's wife, the only significant character Steinbeck did not name in "Of Mice and Men." Curley's wife, right on cue, comes in, presumably to see the new men. She flirts, shows off what is more than appropriate of her legs. Considering what happened in Weed, George's concern is not out of place. When Lennie defines Curley's wife as "purty", George viciously whirls on Lennie, and warns him not to have anything to do with Curley's wife; he says she is a "bitch" and "jailbait", to leave her strictly alone. Of course Lennie does not, soft things, pretty things, that smell nice, look nice, and feel nice are irresistible to Lennie. Lennie's love of soft, pretty things are the only times he rebels against George, to his ultimate detriment.

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Of Mice and Men

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