What card game does George play in Of Mice and Men?

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mercut1469's profile pic

mercut1469 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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In chapters two and three, George is first playing solitaire and then plays a game called euchre with the laborer Whit. Obviously, because of its name, solitaire is generally a game played alone. George's constant playing of solitaire helps strengthen two of Steinbeck's themes in the novella. First, it indicates that, despite his friendship with Lennie, he is essentially a lonely man. His relationship with Lennie is mostly that of a caretaker and he has to be constantly vigilant of Lennie's actions because the big man often does things which are not socially acceptable. Second, the playing of cards suggests the ideas of chance and fate. In a card game, luck is essential. Any card could turn up at a given point in the game. Unfortunately for George and Lennie, their arrival at the ranch will prove that fate is very much in control of their lives. While some things are lucky (Candy will contribute money to the farm), they run into bad luck in the form of Curley and his wife. Lennie's fight with Curley foreshadows more trouble which will ultimately lead to Lennie's death at George's hands and the shattering of George's dream of owning his own farm.

cburr's profile pic

cburr | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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George also began to play a game of euchre with Whit, but Whit quickly lost interest so he went back to solitaire.