Texture is very important to Lennie. What would be some examples from Of Mice and Men?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Texture stimulates Lennie in a way that it overrides his limited capacity for rational thinking. Once he is in contact with something that feels soft to the touch, Lennie reverts to a primitive, almost primal behavior quite similar to the engagement that is felt during sexual arousal. The difference is that someone who can keep control of their emotions would be able to snap out of such sense of arousal (albeit quite difficultly) and move on to do something else. 

Lennie, on the other hand, locks-in his emotion and continues to build upon it, to the point in which his physical activity overrides everything else. His impulses take control of him. 

It is because of this issue with texture that Lennie and George end up in Soledad in the first place. Lennie inappropriately touched a girl's dress when they were living in the town of Weed. Like it always happens, Lennie would not let go of it. It comes to no surprise that the girl felt completely awkward about the situation and wanted to get out of it by screaming for help. This is one of many situations that got Lennie and George kicked out of places.

Steinbeck - Of Mice and Men

 “Jus’ wanted to feel that girl’s dress—jus’ wanted to pet it like it was a mouse—Well, how the hell did she know you jus’ wanted to feel her dress? She jerks back and you hold on like it was a mouse. She yells and we got to hide in a irrigation ditch all day with guys lookin’ for us...

George grows increasingly frustrated with the situation. He knows he is pretty much stuck with Lennie for life, and he tries his best to make the best out of his frustrating issue. Nothing stops, however.

Right as Lennie and George are on the way to the ranch. Lennie has been feeling something in his pocket and George knows what it is. Lennie had been petting a mouse in his pocket but, in typical Lennie style, he was petting too hard and ended up killing it. George already knows the routine, and just asks Lennie to take the mouse out of his pocket. 

Steinbeck - Of Mice and Men

You got it in your hand. What you got in your hand— “A mouse? A live mouse?” “Uh-uh. Jus’ a dead mouse, George. I didn’t kill it. Honest! I found it. 

Deep inside, George knows that Lennie is dangerous. Moreover, he realizes that Lennie's impulsivity is growing stronger. The dead mouse, and the angry girl, are all foreshadowing the tragic ending that Lennie will bring upon both men toward the end of the novella.

 

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Of Mice and Men

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