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price7781 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The mentally disabled Lennie finds pleasure and comfort in stroking soft things.  Like a child with a favorite blanket, soft things tend to calm him down. Lennie carries a dead mouse in his pocket; however, Lennie’s constant petting and strength kills the mouse, and George makes Lennie throw it away.   This obsessive behavior is carried throughout the novel with Lennie killing a puppy and through the stroking of Curley’s wife’s hair who he also kills.  Lennie dreams of having rabbits when he and George get their own ranch, but we know what the outcome of that would be! 

Lennie’s behavior scares George, and Lennie’s obsession indicates just how truly child-like he is.  George putting Lennie out of his misery at the end of the novel also matches with Lennie’s destructive behavior of soft, furry things.

clane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lennie likes soft things and while he and George are traveling to Soledad Lennie is carrying a dead mouse in his pocket. Lennie likes to take the mouse out and stroke it while they walk. This upsets George because he suspects the mouse wasn't dead when Lennie picked it up, even though Lennie assures him that he found it dead. George makes him throw it away and promises that when they are able to he'll get Lennie a puppy because puppies can be pet much harder and not die.

semoody eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lennie has a dead mouse in his pocket, and when pressed to throw it away by George, he reluctantly agrees, but secretly keeps the mouse.  The mouse symbolizes Lennie's love for soft things, which will eventually get him into trouble.

bkadilley | Student
Lennie has a dead mouse in his pocket.