What is George's first complaint to Lennie in Of Mice and Men?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would say that one of the first complaints that George has towards Lennie reflects George's need to look out for Lennie.  Lennie and George approach a small puddle or collection of water.  Lennie pours into it and starts drinking it without hesitating.  George notes that the water does not look healthy.  George complains that Lennie needs to be more careful and discerning when approaching water.  It is from this opening exchange that the reader understands much about the relationship and characterization of George and Lennie.  It is apparent that George looks out for Lennie and that Lennie is almost child- like in how he approaches his time with George.  George is shown as the caretaker, the guide, and the authority figure between the two.  When Lennie tells George how good the water tastes, it is also evident how much he trusts George.  It is this fundamental premise that guides the novella and can be seen from George's opening complaint.

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