In the novel Of Mice and Men, what was the mood of the second chapter?

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Of Mice and Men, the mood of the second chapter is full of tension and apprehension. George and Lennie have just left a job because Lennie got into some trouble with a woman. Fearing a similar situation might occur, George is insistent that Lennie doesn't even talk. After they meet some of the ranchers, George is particularly worried about Curley picking a fight with Lennie. The swamper warns them that Curley will pick a fight with a bigger man because he's insecure and because he is the boss's son and can not be fired: 

S'pose Curley jumps a big guy an' licks him. Ever'body says what a game guy Curley is. And s'pose he does the same thing and gets licked. Then ever'body says the big guy oughtta pick somebody his own size, and maybe they gang up on the big guy. 

George is also worried about Curley's wife. George and Lennie had to run from their last job when Lennie grabbed a woman's dress, panicked, and couldn't let go. Lennie notes that Curley's wife is "purty" and this immediately raises a red flag for George. 

"Don't you even take a look at that bitch. I don't care what she says and what she does. I seen 'em poison before, but I never seen no piece of jail bait worse than her. You leave her be." 

George is apprehensive and full of anxiety. He's worried about Lennie getting into trouble. But George is also worried that if another situation occurs as it did with the last job, they would have to leave again, further prolonging their ability to save money and buy their own farm.