What are the important quotes Of Mice and Men in chapter 1?Give quotes on chapter 1 and explain please....

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As this question is rather nebulous, consideration will be given to passages that relate to characterization and to foreshadowing since these two literary techniques are prominent in this chapter.


George Milton is described as

The first man was small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp, strong features.  Every part of him was defined:  small, strong hand, slender arms, a thin and bony nose.

Curiously, George Milton, whose name suggests the brillant 17th century poet who wrote the epic poem Paradise Lost, is a small man, yet the adjective strong is applied to him twice.  His senses are keen and his restless eyes suggest intelligence.  On the other hand, the second man, who follows along dragging his feet as a bear would and described in zoomorphic tones, lunges for the water and immerses himself entirely in the pond as would an animal:

Behind him [George], walked his opposite, a huge man, shapeless of face, with large pale eyes, with wide sloping shoulder; and he walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws.  His arms did not swing at his sides, but hung loosely. 

Rather than being strong in characterisctics, Lennie drags his feet and lunges for the water,  drinking with "long gulps, snorting into the water like a horse."  It is apparent that George is the brains of the two men, and Lennie the brawn.


That problems may arise is suggested by the allusions that George makes to the town Weed, from which George and Lennie suddenly fled; in addition, George bemoans,

"I could get along so easy and so nice if I didn't have you on my tail. I could live so easy and maybe have a girl."

The idyllic scene of the clearing prompts Lennie to ask George to recite their "dream of owning a farm of their own" for him. While he does so, George also cautions Lennie,

"...Well, look, Lennie--if you jus' happen to get in trouble like you always done before, I want you to come right here and ' hide in the brush."

And it is to this Eden-like garden of flora and fauna that Lennie runs at the end of the novella.

Finally, as the men bed down,

The red light dimmed on the coals.  Up the hill from the river a coyote yammered, and a dog answered from the other side of the stream.  The sycamore leaves whispered in a little night breeze.

Certainly, these last lines of Chapter 1 suggest ominous occurrences as the red can symbolize blood and the coyote is a predatory animal.