Of Mice and Men Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

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In Of Mice and Men, how does Steinbeck present the lives of the workers on the ranch?

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The lives of the ranch hands, who are, by and large, workers traveling from place to place, are described as harsh. For example, as George and Lennie lay down to sleep under the stars near the Salinas river before they start their new job on the ranch, George says:

I seen thrashin' machines on the way down. That means we'll be buckin' grain bags, bustin' a gut.

The ranch is a place of loneliness too. Although the men live close to one another, with little privacy and few possessions, sleeping together (except for Crooks) in the same bunkhouse, they are still lonely because their wandering lives mean they can't put down roots and become part of a community. As George says to Lennie, explaining how their friendship sets them apart:

We don't have to sit in no bar room blowin' in our jack jus' because we got no place else to go.

This particular ranch also has a mean, frightening quality, mostly radiating from Curley. George tells Lennie he's "scared" after they interact with Curley and says the...

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