In the last two lines of the novel, what do you think this tells us about Carlson and the wider environment in which the story takes place?‘Now what the hell ya suppose is eatin’  them two guys?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As a "bindle stiff" Carlson is callous and insensitive. The alienation of so many men as a result of their displacement from their homes and the experiences from this loss in the 1930s is represented in the character of Carlson.  For, he does not understand the feelings that old Candy has for his old dog or the brotherly bonds shared by George and Lennie.

Regarding the "wider environment" as you so aptly term it, in the setting of the desperate 1930s and its itinerant workers, such paradises of freedom, contentment, safety in the protection of friendship are not to be found.  With the death of Lennie, his and George's dream, too, dies, proving what Crooks says to be true:  There is no protection from a hostile world; Life is no good without a companion to turn to.  With Lennie's death, George loses not only his dream, but also his chance to be a better man.

Slim, with his "God-like eyes"

twitches George's elbow. 'Come on George.  Me an' you'll go in an' get a drink.....You hadds, George.  come on with me.'

In direct contrast to Carlson, Slim understands the magnitude of what George has had to do.

cazzydaz | Student

Carlson is a very unconsiderate man. Who i suppose in some ways is quite unselfish, at the same time.

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Of Mice and Men

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