Who does George think he might have to fight?  John Steinbeck "Of Mice and Men"

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

George Milton of John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" is always alert to any threat to him and his friend, Lennie Small, who though massive in size and strength, is a child intellectually and emotionally.  When the two men become works on a ranch, they must establish their place in the ranch house; to do so, George evaluates each worker and advises Lennie. 

Regarding the pugnacious and insecure Curley, the short son of the boss, George is extremely wary.  He cautions Lennie after old Candy tells George that Curley "hates big guys,"

'Loo, Lenni!  This here ain't no set up.  I'm scared.  You gonna have trouble with that Curley guy.  I seen that kind before.  He was kinda feelin' you oout.  He figures he's got you scared and he's gonna take a sock at you the first chance he gets....If he tangles with you, Lennie, we're gonna get the can.  Don't make no mistake about that.  He's the boss's son.  Look Lennie. You try to keep away from him, will you?  Don't never speak to him.  If he comes in here you move clear to the other side of the room.  Will you do that, Lennie?'

Another reason that George is concerned about Curley's being a threat to their security at work is the fact that Curley's wife is a "tart."  So, he cautions Lennie to also avoid her.