Of Mice and Men Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

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In Of Mice and Men, what is the motivation of the character Lennie Small?

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In the story, Lennie is primarily motivated by his dream of living on a ranch with George where he can have his own rabbits to care for. This motivation is established early in the novel: in chapter one, for example, Lennie asks George to tell him all about the dream. This dream of owning his own ranch and caring for rabbits acts as a source of comfort to Lennie in times of uncertainty and stress.

In fact, Lennie's obsession with the rabbits often frustrates George, as we see in chapter one:

The hell with the rabbits. That's all you can ever remember is them rabbits.

That Lennie cannot see anything beyond rabbits is symbolic of his childlike mentality. He lacks the capacity to see the bigger picture. This is also shown clearly after Lennie accidentally kills Curley's wife. His only concern is for the rabbits, not for the crime that he has committed:

George gonna say I done a bad thing. He ain't gonna let me tend no rabbits.

For Lennie, life is all about the rabbits. At the end of the novel, as...

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