In Of Mice and Men who is the protagonist and who is the antagonist?

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sciftw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Of Mice and Men has quite a few characters that could fit the bill for protagonist and antagonist.  As a whole, the ranch hands are your "good guys," while the owners and associated family are the "bad guys."  

Specifically, your best bet for protagonists are Lennie and George.  The novel starts with them and ends with them (although it doesn't exactly end on a high note). The story focuses on their struggles and their dream to own their own farm.  While neither of them is perfect, the reader can't help but want to see them succeed.  

Specific antagonists would have to be Curley and Curley's wife.  Curley is mean.  He is abusive to those around him, he picks fights frequently, and abuses the power he has because he is the boss's son.  Curley's wife is an antagonist because she is a temptress who attempts to lure the men away from their goals.  While she isn't totally "evil" (the reader almost feels she is a victim in some ways), she doesn't help the protagonists out in any way. 

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