Why does Lennie think George will be mad?

Lennie thinks George will be mad because he accidentally killed Curley's wife. Though Lennie struggles to fully comprehend the consequences of his actions, he is aware that he has done something "bad."

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In chapter 5, Lennie is upset at himself for accidentally killing the puppy Slim gave him, aware that George will not be happy with him when he finds out. While Lennie is in the barn, he begins to scold the deceased puppy for being too fragile and fears that George...

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In chapter 5, Lennie is upset at himself for accidentally killing the puppy Slim gave him, aware that George will not be happy with him when he finds out. While Lennie is in the barn, he begins to scold the deceased puppy for being too fragile and fears that George will punish him by not allowing him to tend rabbits in the future. Despite his mistake, Lennie understands that killing the puppy is not a major transgression that would require him to flee to their secluded spot near the river.

As Lennie laments the dead puppy, Curley's wife enters the barn and attempts to have a conversation with him. Initially, Lennie tries to avoid Curley's wife, saying that he is forbidden from speaking to her. Curley's wife persists in making conversation, however, and discovers that Lennie likes petting soft things.

Curley's wife then allows Lennie to stroke her hair to feel its softness. When Lennie begins to pull too hard and refuses to let go, Curley's wife screams, and he accidentally breaks her neck in his panic. After Lennie accidentally kills Curley's wife, he says,

I done a real bad thing...I shouldn’t of did that. George’ll be mad. An’...he said...an’ hide in the brush till he come. He’s gonna be mad.

Though Lennie doesn't fully grasp the gravity of what he's done, he does seem to understand that this is more serious than what happened with the puppy. Lennie then leaves the ranch and waits for George at the secluded riverbank—their agreed upon meeting spot in case things go wrong.

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