Why is Lennie with George instead of at home?
Lennie is mentally challenged and definitely unable to take care of himself. In chapter one, he threatens to go off in the woods to find a cave to live in. George scoffs at the idea and questions what Lennie would get to eat. It seems Lennie has traveled with George since Lennie's Aunt Clara died. The two men grew up in the small northern California town of Auburn and after Aunt Clara died, George took Lennie with him. In other words, Lennie really doesn't have a home. His home is with George and the two men are migrant farm workers traveling through California looking for work. The book is the story of their experience on a ranch near the central California town of Soledad. In chapter three, George explains his relationship with Slim as the two hang out in the bunkhouse:
“Him and me was both born in Auburn. I knowed his Aunt Clara. She took him when he was a baby and raised him up. When his Aunt Clara died, Lennie just come along with me out workin’. Got kinda used to each other after a little while.”