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George is mostly well-respected (except for by Curley).
Lennie relies on George. He does exactly what George says and knows that George will protect him and keep him safe.
Lennie, who had been watching, imitated George exactly. He pushed himself back, drew up his knees, embraced them, looked over to George to see whether he had it just right. He pulled his hat down a little more over his eyes, the way George's hat was. (Ch. 1)
Sometimes he considers George an authority figure though, and worries about what he will say or do. When he does something that he feels George will disapprove of, Lennie will avoid George like a naughty child. An example of this is the mouse incident. Lennie hid the mouse from George, but George knew he had it and made him give it back.
The boss is suspicious of George at first, because he talks for Lennie.
"Say—what you sellin'?"
"I said what stake you got in this guy? You takin' his pay away from him?"
"No, 'course I ain't. Why ya think I'm sellin' him out?"
"Well, I never seen one guy take so much trouble for another guy.
I just like to know what your interest is." (Ch. 2)
He is probably not used to a guy taking care of another guy. He assumes that George is just trying to cheat Lennie. George is a quick thinker though. He manages to convince the boss that he is Lennie’s cousin, and he is just looking out of Lennie. He admits that Lennie doesn’t really have brains but is a hard worker. The boss says brains are not required, and lets Lennie stay.
Slim approves of George because he travels with Lennie.
Slim looked approvingly at George for having given the compliment. He leaned over the table and snapped the corner of a loose card. "You guys travel around together?" His tone was friendly. It invited confidence without demanding it. (Ch. 2)
Slim seems to like the idea of George and Lennie traveling around together. He comments that most people seem to be alone, as if the whole world “is scared of each other" (Ch. 2). He is friendly to George and Lennie, and approves of the fact that George pays Lennie a compliment for being a hard worker.
Curley looks at George and wants to pick a fight.
He glanced coldly at George and then at Lennie. His arms gradually bent at the elbows and his hands closed into fists. He stiffened and went into a slight crouch. His glance was at once calculating and pugnacious. (Ch. 2)
George knows immediately to avoid messing with Curley. He realizes he is “handy” and tells Lennie not to mess with him either. Of course, they get in a fight with Curley later on when he picks on Lennie, and George lets Lennie attack him. Lennie crushes his hand. It was self-defense and can’t be helped. George knows the minute he looks at Curley that he is dangerous.
As the men travel to the ranch and when they get there, George is mostly well-respected by everyone he meets. Of course, he is already respected and admired by Lennie, who looks at him like a father figure or a big brother. The one exception to this is Curley, who does not seem to respect anyone.
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