Why does Lennie need to understand George's orders in Chapter One to hide in the brush?

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mercut1469 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter One of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men George and Lennie have come to a clearing bounded on one side by the Salinas River and the other by the Gabilan Mountains. George indicates that he wants to spend the night here because it's peaceful and he can look up at the stars. George also alludes to the fact that Lennie often gets in trouble and that they had been run out of the town of Weed because of Lennie's behavior. He fears that Lennie will do the same thing again and so attempts to not mention it. Lennie, however, understands and says, "They run us outta Weed." Eventually George tells Lennie to remember where they are and if there is any trouble, to come back to the spot and "hide in the brush" until George comes to retrieve him. George suggests that Lennie say it over and over again so he won't forget and even quizzes him about it at the end of the chapter. The exchange foreshadows later events when Lennie does return to the same spot after he accidentally kills Curley's wife.