What are some connotations of the word "square"? How might they help me understand Of Mice and Men?

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marymollway eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The word "square" in Of Mice and Men is only mentioned in reference to the shape of the table and the windows and once in reference to Curley "squaring" his shoulders when he hears that Lennie has taken off after killing Curley's wife. The connotation of the square of the table and windows is order and structure. This small items are symbolic of the order that the men find in this bunkhouse and around that table. With four right angles and equal sides, the square is a symbol of order. Square can also mean someone of good character, as in a "square man." It is around this square table that George talks to Slim about his experiences with Lennie in Weed; about killing Candy's dog; and where George, Lennie, and Candy make the plan to buy the piece of land. These men displayed their good character around this square table.