Study Guide Project: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (Chapter-by-Chapter Summary and Analysis).
It is evening near the Salinas River, just south of Soledad. Rabbits sit like statues in the sand. The tracks of raccoons, dogs, and deer cover the landscape. Among the willow trees, a path beaten down by the activity of rambunctious boys and weary tramps can be seen.
Two men clad in denim trousers emerge, each carrying a blanket roll. One of the men is George: small, dark, and quick. The other man is Lennie: large, pale, and sluggish. Lennie dips his head into the river, hat and all, and proceeds to gulp the water thirstily. George is hesitant to drink because the river water is scummy, but he follows suit, remarking that Lennie would drink “out of a gutter” if he were thirsty.
The men discuss their situation. Much to George’s chagrin, Lennie can’t recall where they are going or why they are going there. George reminds Lennie that they’re headed to a ranch to start a new job. The job in the town from which they just came, Weed, didn’t work out so well. George warns...
(The entire section contains 7,957 words.)