What significance does George's decision to "go into town" represent in Lennie's life?This question is about the end of Of Mice and Men in chapter 5 and chapter 6.

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The only mention of George's going to town is in Chapter 4 of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men where Lennie and Candy go into the barn where Crooks, the stable worker is forced to live.  Resentful that the white men come into his area when he cannot go to the bunkhouse, he speaks disparagingly to Lennie, telling him he is crazy.  He leans forward and taunts Lennie, saying,

"S'pose George don't come back no more.  S'pose he took a powder and just ain't coming back.  What'll you do then?"

When Lennie turns his attention to Crooks, the stable hand continues,

"I said s'pose George went into town tonight and you never heard of him no more...."

"He won't do it," Lennie cried.  "George wouldn't do nothing like that I been with George a longtime.  He'll come back tonight--" But the doubt was too much for him.  "Don't you think he will?"

Crooks delights in his torture of Lennie who realizes that he cannot survive on his own without Lennie.  His reaction is much like that of a child who is told that his parents are not coming back.  For, George represents safety and security to Lennie. Immediately, he becomes worried that George may not really return, then angry that someone may have harmed George.  At this point Crooks sees "the danger" and ends his taunting, as animal-like, Lennie "growled back to his seat."

 

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Of Mice and Men

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