What does Lennie have in his pocket?

Lennie keeps a dead mouse in his pocket in Of Mice and Men, .

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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.  ...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Lennie is one of the major characters in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. He has some unspecified type of intellectual disability, so he relies heavily on George to help him navigate certain social situations. One of Lennie's favorite things to do is pet soft things, and this often helps calm him down. Because of his preference for soft things, he carries a dead mouse in his pocket so that he can have something to pet whenever he needs.

As George and Lennie walk, Lennie takes the mouse out and pets it. Aware that Lennie is very strong and that he doesn't understand his own strength, George believes that Lennie accidentally killed the mouse by petting it, but Lennie claims the mouse was dead when he found it. Eventually, George confiscates the mouse and throws it away in the bushes.

Lennie's pet mouse foreshadows several future events in Of Mice and Men. Later in the novel, Lennie's love of stroking soft things and his inability to understand his strength lead him to kill a puppy. When he accidentally kills the puppy by handling it too roughly, Lennie becomes very upset, worried that George will not let him tend to soft, fluffy rabbits on their own farm someday. Tragically, near the end of the novel, Lennie accidentally snaps Curley's wife's neck while touching her hair—an incident that ultimately leads to his own death.

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In chapter 1 of Of Mice and Men, Lennie carries a dead mouse in his pocket. When questioned by George, Lennie claims that he found the mouse (already dead) at the side of the road. He also says that he didn't do anything bad to the mouse, he just wanted to stroke it.

Lennie's fondness for stroking soft things has caused trouble for the pair in the past. They were run out of their last town, for instance, because Lennie stroked a girl's dress and frightened her.

The dead mouse, therefore, symbolizes Lennie's strength. Even though he does not intend to hurt any living creature, he does not understand the extent of his own strength. This idea will play a significant role later in the novel when he sits down and talks with Curley's wife in the barn.

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