George shows he is wise in predicting that Lennie will get in trouble again. He sets up the escape plan in Chapter 1 telling Lennie to 'hide in the brush'.
He understands Lennie's need to 'pet soft things' and gets him a puppy from Slim.
He also convinces Lennie to lie about them being related in order to appease the boss with regard to their travel arrangements. He jokes about this with Lennie, saying '...if I was a relative of yours I'd shoot myself'.
For one thing, George is perspicacious, recognizing the danger of revealing too much information and trusting people. He is able to "read" people, recognizing the wisdom and confidentiality of Slim, and the danger of the flirtatious wife of Curley. Above all he realizes the importance of dreams and of having a friend.
Here are three quotes:
- [on the importance of friendship] 'Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world....They don't belong no place...They ain't go nothing to look ahead to...With us it ain't like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us...'
- [on realizing the importance of the dream] ''--I think I knowed from the very first. I think I knowed we'd never do her. He usta like to hear aobut it so much I got to thinking maybe we would.'
- [on the danger of Curley's wife to Lennie] 'Well, you [Lennie] keep away from her, 'cause she's a rattrap if I ever seen one.'
George shows his compassion for Lennie in many ways throughout the novel. First, he agrees to the aunt's dying request to take care of Lennie. He could, of course, just go out on his own and realize his dream of success, but instead "adopts" Lennie as his own.
George's compassion for Lennie is also shown by his knowlege of Lennie's disability. He tries to protect Lennie from others who don't understand, especially from Curly. George understands that Lennie's strength is far beyond that of most men. However, when Curly aggravates Lennie to the extreme, George urges him to stick up for himself.
The height of George's compassion for Lennie appears at the end of the novel. After Lennie kills Curly's wife, George finds Lennie alone and shoots him so that he would not have to become a spectacle in town, perhaps to die with dignity, not by hanging. It is at the end of this section of the novel that George's true compassion and love for Lennie is revealed to the reader.