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While Of Mice and Men has numerous scenes filled with imagery and other figurative devices, Chapter 5 is always moving to me. As the chapter opens, we see the stillness of the barn interrupted only by Lennies stroking his dead puppy. Since the book began, the reader has heard George warn Lennie not to mess up- again, and so we've been waiting for something bad to happen. In Chapter 5 we see the bad.
Lennie's moment of solitude is interrupted by Curley's wife. Alone again, she wants someone to talk to, and though George has warned him to stay away ("Lennie glared at her. “George says I ain’t to have nothing to do with you—talk to you or nothing.”) he finds she won't leave him alone.
The reader holds their breath as she asks Lennie if he likes soft things and continues to compare her hair to velvet. She tells him, "mine is soft and fine. ‘Course I brush it a lot. That makes it fine. Here—feel right here.” She took Lennie’s hand and put it on her head. “Feel right aroun’ there an’ see how soft it is.” The dialect allows the reader to hear her broken English while wanting to yell to her NO!. Instead, gentle Lennie begins to pet her until she becomes uncomfortable and only wanting to silence her, he unwittingly breaks her neck.
The following image compares the dead puppy to Curley's dead wife. Both lay covered, motionless in the hay until Lennie picks up the puppy to throw away and head to the safe spot.
To me, the most moving moment was at the end when George was on the riverbank with Lennie, retelling the story of their farm, getting Lennie to visualize it. He then shoots Lennie in the back of the head, in an attempt to keep Lennie from being punished. His heart is breaking with what he has to do, but he helps Lennie die with the vision of his dream in his head.
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