What sort of character is the boss from John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Apart from the beginning of the novella, the boss is conspicuously missing from the novella. This is very intentional, because the bosses of these ranches are separated from the migrant workers. In other words, they live in two different worlds. In part this means that the boss does not know what people like Lennie and George are going through. This picture fits in nicely with what is going on during the Great Depression on a larger scale when banks repossess the lands of people.

When the boss is mentioned in the beginning of the book, he comes off as a man that the others fear. He has the final say and all just follow. The boss is also a very skeptical man. When he is taking to George and Lennie, he questions George’s motive for being with Lennie. He says:

“I said what stake you got in this guy? You takin’ his pay away from him?” “No, ‘course I ain’t. Why ya think I’m sellin’ him out?”
“Well, I never seen one guy take so much trouble for another guy. I just like to know what your interest is.”


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