In Of Mice and Men, what did George do once that made him stop playing jokes on Lennie?

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Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Early in their relationship, George used to enjoy playing jokes on Lennie because it made him feel smart and superior. He enjoyed the control. He could play jokes on Lennie and Lennie would not even realize that he had been fooled. However, this came to a stop after a near-tragic incident. One day on the Sacramento River, while standing around with a group of other men, George decided to show off a little. He told Lennie to jump into the river. Trusting George, Lennie jumped in, even though he could not swim. Lennie almost drowned before George and the others could pull him out. When Lennie came out of the river, after almost dying, he thanked George for pulling him out. Lennie had forgotten that George was the reason he went into the water to begin with.

George didn't play jokes on Lennie after that. He realized how much power he had over Lennie, literally the power of life and death. George was probably ashamed of himself, also, for being mean to Lennie when Lennie trusted him so much and was so grateful to him.

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Of Mice and Men

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