In his novel Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck indicates that this conversation has happened many times. Find three quotations from the extracts that show this. What is the significance of this?

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The conversation that is repeated over and over in the novel is the one about the dream that George and Lennie share. In their dream, Lennie and George see themselves owning their own farm and living off of the land.

This conversation is repeated multiple times, mainly at Lennie's request,...

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The conversation that is repeated over and over in the novel is the one about the dream that George and Lennie share. In their dream, Lennie and George see themselves owning their own farm and living off of the land.

This conversation is repeated multiple times, mainly at Lennie's request, because he is mentally decelerated and forgets things consistently. He also needs to hear the words exactly how George says them to reassure himself that this dream could possibly come true.

When Lennie requests that George narrates their dream, it is acknowledged that this conversation has happened many times before:

Lennie spoke craftily, “Tell me— like you done before.” “Tell you what?” “About the rabbits.”

This constant repetition upsets George, to a point, but he always ends up repeating the narrative anyway.

George's voice became deeper. He repeated his words rhythmically as though he had said them many times before.

Other evidence that shows that the conversation has happened many times before is found when Lennie asks George to narrate part of the dream to Candy who, with "wide eyes," listens attentively to George.

All this proves the number of times that George and Lennie have spoken about their dream, to the point of it being so detailed that George can recite it as if it were a mantra.

Lennie said, “Tell about that place, George.” “I jus’ tol’ you, jus’ las’ night.” “Go on— tell again, George.”
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Early in the story, it becomes clear that there is an ongoing conversation between Lennie and George. Lennie asks George where they are going, and George responds by saying,

So you forgot that already, did you? I gotta tell you again, do I? Jesus Christ, you’re a crazy bastard!

Lennie confirms that he forgot what they spoke about, but he does recall one detail of their past conversations.

“Tried and tried,” said Lennie, “but it didn’t do no good. I remember about the rabbits, George.”

The exchange wanders into a tangent about obtaining work cards and being on the run from the last place, but it eventually comes back around to talk of their future. George once more speaks to Lennie about their future and what it would look like, and Lennie implores that George “Tell him again.” George obliges:

He repeated his words rhythmically as though he had said them many times before.

Lennie enthusiastically responds by saying,

That’s it—that’s it. Now tell how it is with us.

The exchange itself suggests that the two have spoken about this conversation on multiple occasions, and Lennie “forgets” (or perhaps just claims he does, as he enjoys hearing about their future plans from George) and has to be reminded.

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I believe the conversation you are referring to is that which takes place between George and Lennie in chapter 1 when George tells Lennie about why they're different to most itinerant workers and about how they have a future to look forward to. Indeed, during this conversation, Steinbeck writes that George "repeated his words rhythmically as though he had said them many times before."

One quotation from this conversation which indicates that it has taken place many times before is when Lennie says, "That's it—that's it. Now tell how it is with us." The phrase, "That's it," implies that Lennie has heard George's words many times before. When Lennie then says, "Now tell how it is with us," the implication is that he knows what is coming next because he has heard George tell him so many times before.

A second quotation that indicates that this conversation has taken place many times before is when George tells Lennie, after one of Lennie's interruptions, that he knows the story already "by heart." The story at this point of the conversation, that Lennie is so eager for George to tell again, is the story of how they will both one day own their own piece of land and "live off the fatta the lan'."

A third quotation that indicates that this conversation has taken place many times before is when Lennie interrupts again and prompts George to "Tell about what (they're) gonna have in the garden and about the rabbits in the cages." Lennie has obviously heard George tell him about the garden and the rabbits many times before. We subsequently learn that this is Lennie's favorite part of the conversation, or story, because it is the part about how he will get to look after the rabbits.

The fact that this conversation about their future plans has taken place so many times before indicates how hopeful Lennie and George are of achieving them. It is also an indication of how kind and patient George is. Indeed, he runs through this conversation with Lennie again and again only because he knows how much Lennie enjoys it.

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[Please indicate the specific portion of the text you are referring to in the "extracts" so that we can more easily provide you with the answer you need.]

In John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, the conversation that George and Lennie have had over and again refers to the "story" George tells Lennie about the home they will share one day.

Three quotations that indicate this are as follows:

[George] repeated his words rhythmically as though he had said them many times before.

and...

You got it by heart. You can do it yourself.

and...

Why'n't you do it yourself? You know all of it.

I believe there are three reasons for the repetition of the "story." Lennie is mentally challenged, so at first the repetitions might have served to help him remember the "story." Because of Lennie's child-like mentality, he loves listening to the story over and again. The third reason is directly related to the second: the constant repetition also serves to present the "story" as a fairytale, something a child believes when he is very young and can suspend his or her belief in the possibilities the story puts forth. However, because their situation is so difficult, what might seem a realistic dream to some, remains a fairytale to these two men who always seem to need to move on, without the opportunity to "settle down."

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