Why does George want to have a farm with Lennie?

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As a migrant worker, George Milton travels all over the western United States working difficult, unsteady jobs with his intellectually disabled friend, Lennie Small. George is sick of being exploited and is tired of making sure Lennie stays out of trouble. George is well aware of the dangers and unpredictability of life as a migrant worker, which is why he desperately wishes to one day purchase his own homestead. He and Lennie continually dream about owning their own estate, where they can live of the "fatta the lan’" and make their own decisions. George also desires to reap the benefits of his hard work and enjoy the stability that comes along with owning property. George also realizes that owning a homestead would be a much safer environment for himself and Lennie. On their own homestead, George would not have to worry about antagonistic individuals provoking Lennie or women tempting him in certain ways. George also desires to be in control of his own life and no longer be objectified by mercurial bosses. As the owner of his homestead, George would work whenever he pleases and finally be in control of his own life.

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George wants to own a ranch, a place that he can call his own. He's spent practically his whole adult life as an itinerant laborer, traveling endlessly from place to place in search of hard, underpaid work. Not surprisingly, he's had enough of this life, enough of being exploited and cheated by men who have the wealth and the power that comes with owning a ranch. George wants to be the boss; he wants to be the man in control, instead of being at the mercy of someone else. As boss, he'll also be better able to protect Lennie, who's especially vulnerable to exploitation on account of his special needs. Indeed, Lennie is an intrinsic part of George's plan. George made a solemn pledge to Lennie's Aunt Clara that he'd take good care of her nephew, and the best way to do that is to provide Lennie with a safe, secure place that he can finally call home.

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