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George and Lennie's troubles in Weed in Of Mice and Men

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In Of Mice and Men, George and Lennie face troubles in Weed because Lennie is accused of attempting to assault a woman. Lennie's innocent fascination with soft things leads to him grabbing the woman's dress, causing her to panic and accuse him of attacking her. This forces George and Lennie to flee the town to avoid a lynch mob.

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Why do George and Lennie flee from Weed in Of Mice and Men?

In the first chapter of the novella, George gets upset with Lennie and comments that he would get along better without him. George then brings up the incident in Weed, which put them in serious danger and led to their current situation. George mentions that Lennie always keeps him in hot water and briefly describes the incident in Weed by mocking Lennie. George says,

Jus' wanted to feel that girl's dress—jus' wanted to pet it like it was a mouse—Well, how the hell did she know you jus' wanted to feel her dress? She jerks back and you hold on like it was a mouse. She yells and we got to hide in a irrigation ditch all day with guys lookin' for us, and we got to sneak out in the dark and get outta the country.

Later in the story, George describes the incident in Weed in further detail during a private conversation with Slim. George confides in Slim by telling him that the girl in Weed was wearing a red dress and that Lennie impulsively touched it. Lennie has an affinity for petting soft things and never asked permission to feel the girl's dress. Unfortunately, Lennie startled the girl, who let "out a squawk" and tried to pull away. Instead of letting go, Lennie panicked and held on tighter. George had to hit Lennie over the head with a fence picket to make him let go.

After the girl ran away, she told the authorities that Lennie raped her, and George and Lennie had to hide in an irrigation ditch all day to avoid a lynch mob. Fortunately, George and Lennie were able to escape later that night and traveled to Soledad, where they found work. Slim recognizes that Lennie never intended to harm the girl, and the incident foreshadows Curley's wife's death.

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Why do George and Lennie flee from Weed in Of Mice and Men?

Weed was actually named after a man named Weed. It is still a very small town in a mountainous, heavily forested region, with a population of just under 3,000 by the last census. It would have been smaller in 1937. It is located just below the Oregon border. It was an unlikely place for George and Lennie to be working, but Steinbeck wanted to put it as far away as possible because he didn’t want anyone around Salinas to have heard the real truth about the incident. That real truth was probably that Lennie attacked a very young girl without really understanding what his sexual motivation was. Something similar happened with the idiot Benjy in William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. Jason had to have Benjy castrated. The girl Lennie molested started screaming and attracted a mob of local men who intended to lynch both Lennie and George. George was not present when Lennie molested the girl. They were immediately on the run, so George only got the story from Lennie--and Lennie shows in Chapter One that he lies to George all the time. Furthermore, Lennie didn't understand his own motives because (1) he is mentally retarded, (2) his sex drive is new to him. When George sees the dead body of Curley's wife, he will understand what was really happening in Weed. Lennie didn't just want to feel the dress. He might have torn the dress right off the girl if George hadn't intervened.

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Why do George and Lennie flee from Weed in Of Mice and Men?

In the novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, the part of the plot where George and Lennie run away from Weed is very important. This is because it shows the beginning or continuation of a behavioral pattern. It also shows that George is beginning to cotton on to that fact and that it is beginning to cause him anxiety. Indeed, the lines "All the time somethin like that, all the time." are foreshadowing the events that are to come. George does his best to shelter himself and Lennie from the consequences of the unusual behavior, but will soon realise that they are going to occur again and again, over and over, becuase learning-challenged Lennie has difficulty learning and remembering the lesson of past experiences. When the end finally comes, we may speculate that these thoughts are in his mind when he makes his tragic and terrible decision.

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Why do George and Lennie flee from Weed in Of Mice and Men?

With his focus on the alienation of the itinerant workers in California during the Great Depression, John Steinbeck has his main characters emerge from Weed much as Moses was found is the bullrushes/weeds of the Nile:  alone and without a home.  Like Moses, they, too, flee oppression, for Lennie has gotten them into trouble in Weed by grabbing onto a girl's dress that he "Jus' wanted to feel--jus' wanted to pet it like it was a mouse."

When the Samson-like Lennie holds onto the dress, the girl panicks, sensing his strength.  George relives the scene with Lennie:

She jerks back and you hold on like it was a mouse.  She yells and we got to hide in a irrigation ditch all day with guys lookin' for us, and we got to sneak out in the dark and get outta the country.  All the time somethin' like that--all the time.

The women in this novella, "Of Mice and Men," are, indeed, somewhat like Delilha of the Bible, for they tempt the men and interfere with the masculinity of the male characters.  There is no place for them in the fraternity of men, for they cause conflict and pose danger constantly, certainly for George and the unsuspecting and childlike Lennie.

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Why do George and Lennie flee from Weed in Of Mice and Men?

George and Lennie are forced to run away from Weed because Lennie frightened a girl so much, she accused him of trying to rape her. When George tells the story to Slim, George explains that Lennie just likes to touch soft things and the girl was wearing a dress made of soft material. When he asked to touch it, the girl said "yes" but became frightened when Lennie would not let go. The more she tried to escape, the tighter Lennie held on to her dress. She assumed Lennie was trying to rape her and the men of Weed formed a posse to try to catch Lennie. Both Lennie and George were able to escape by hiding in a ditch and then leaving the area.

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Why do George and Lennie flee from Weed in Of Mice and Men?

Weed is the location of the previous ranch "up north" that George and Lennie had worked at. It is quickly made apparent that Lennie had done something bad in Weed to necessitate their sudden departure, but he can't remember what it is. Lennie has a simple mind, and this failing of his memory is not without precedent.

George reminds Lennie that they had to run out of Weed and evade capture due to his actions with a girl in a red dress. Lennie's ongoing desire to touch soft things led him to grab her dress. He meant her no harm, but the girl became terribly frightened and began to scream. This led Lennie to get confused and to hold tighter still to the dress in his state of fear. The situation escalated, and George eventually had to hit Lennie over the head with a picket fence to get him to let her go.

Unfortunately for George and Lennie, the girl then lied and accused Lennie of raping her. This led to a party being put together to lynch Lennie. He and George subsequently hid and left Weed at the first opportunity. Unfortunately, history repeats itself when Lennie gets himself into trouble again—this time with Curley's wife.

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Why do George and Lennie flee from Weed in Of Mice and Men?

Weed is a small town in northern California near the foothills of Mt. Shasta. In chapter one and chapter three, George mentions the incident with the girl in the red dress. When he brings it up in chapter one, Lennie remembers that they were run out of the town. In Weed, George and Lennie were working on a ranch when Lennie saw a girl wearing a red dress. He grabbed the dress and held on, causing the girl to fear for her life and start screaming. Lennie has an obsession with touching and petting soft things, such as mice, rabbits and puppies. The red dress was just another object which played on this temptation. George gives Slim the details of the incident in chapter three:

“Well, he seen this girl in a red dress. Dumb bastard like he is, he wants to touch ever’thing he likes. Just wants to feel it. So he reaches out to feel this red dress an’ the girl lets out a squawk, and that gets Lennie all mixed up, and he holds on ‘cause that’s the only thing he can think to do. Well, this girl squawks and squawks. I was jus’ a little bit off, and I heard all the yellin’, so I comes running, an’ by that time Lennie’s so scared all he can think to do is jus’ hold on. I socked him over the head with a fence picket to make him let go. He was so scairt he couldn’t let go of that dress. And he’s so God damn strong, you know.” 

The girl accuses Lennie of raping her and the men in Weed go after George and Lennie, who have to hide in an irrigation ditch in order to avoid capture. The scene proves to be foreshadowing for the later incident with Curley's wife. When Curley's wife allows Lennie to stroke her hair, he again becomes too rough and holds on, eventually breaking her neck.

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Why do George and Lennie flee from Weed in Of Mice and Men?

The text is rather circumspect at first about the reason George and Lennie have to leave Weed. We know that they worked together on a ranch there, and George warns Lennie that when they move on, he must not "do bad things" like he did in Weed. Lennie seems not to remember exactly what these "bad things" were, but he does remember, "triumphantly," that he and George were run out of town. They did not have any choice about leaving: the townspeople forced them to go. The people of Weed were "looking for" George and Lennie, presumably with the intention of punishing them, but didn't succeed in catching them, as George encouraged Lennie to flee instead.

Later, when asked why they left Weed, George simply says that the job they had been working on "was done." Eventually, he admits to Slim that Lennie had assaulted a girl in a red dress in Weed, not knowing really what he was doing, but wanting to touch her. The more scared the girl became, the more scared Lennie became, with the result that he clung on more and more tightly to the girl's dress. The girl then told the police that she had been raped, at which point the men of the town set out a party to lynch Lennie. Lennie ultimately "didn't hurt the girl none," but she was sufficiently afraid of him to call the police. Lennie, because of his sheer size, cuts a frightening presence; although, ultimately he is harmless.

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What trouble did George and Lennie encounter in Weed in Of Mice and Men?

Before arriving at the ranch in Soledad, George and Lennie were chased out of Weed and managed to evade a lynch mob by hiding in an irrigation ditch after Lennie scared a young woman wearing a red dress.

In the opening chapter, George mentions the trouble Lennie caused them in Weed, but he does not provide further details until later in the story. In chapter 3, George elaborates on the situation in Weed during a conversation with Slim. George tells Slim that Lennie saw a young woman wearing a red dress and wanted to touch the material of her dress. The reader recognizes that this is typical behavior for Lennie, who has an affinity for tactile stimulation and enjoys touching soft things.

Unfortunately, Lennie startled the girl, who began screaming. Instead of letting go, Lennie panicked and held on tighter, which only made the situation worse. When George arrived on the scene, he had to hit Lennie over the head with a fence picket to make him let go.

The girl claimed that Lennie raped her, and George and Lennie were forced to hide in an irrigation ditch for the remainder of the day to avoid a lynch mob. Fortunately, George and Lennie were able to escape and traveled to Soledad to work on the ranch. Tragically, Lennie repeats the mistake he made in Weed but ends up accidentally killing Curley's wife.

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What trouble did George and Lennie encounter in Weed in Of Mice and Men?

The first thing we learn about Weed is that Lennie and George used to work on a ranch there, similar to the ranch the duo is on their way to as Of Mice and Men opens. In the conversation that follows between George and Lennie, we learn that Lennie had done some “bad things” in Weed, and that the pair had needed to leave in a hurry to evade capture. Despite the serious nature of what happened, Lennie’s memory has to be jogged for him to remember it.

It is later in the story, when the two are settling down at the ranch and George is having a conversation with Slim, that we learn the details of the trouble in Weed and what it had been about. George tells Slim that the problem had involved a “girl in a red dress.” While Lennie never harmed the girl, her red dress had caught his attention. Being an extremely tactile person, Lennie had reached out to touch the dress. In response, the girl had cried out, which in turn had scared Lennie.

Now in a flustered state, Lennie had kept holding onto the girl’s dress, and while he did nothing to hurt her, the girl told local authorities that Lennie had raped her. As a result of the accusation of rape, men from Weed set out to lynch Lennie. George and Lennie had spent the day in hiding and fled from Weed that same night.

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What trouble did George and Lennie encounter in Weed in Of Mice and Men?

While they were working in Weed, Lennie saw a girl wearing a pretty red dress.  Focused on the dress's beauty, he reached out to touch it, and the girl screamed.  Lennie panicked, and holding on even tighter, would not let go.  George had to "(sock) him over the head with a fence picket to make him let go" before he would release the dress.  The girls eventually reported the incident as an attempted rape, and "the guys in Weed start(ed) a party out to lynch Lennie".  George took Lennie to hide in an irrigation ditch, and when darkness fell, they fled the vicinity.

Lennie did not actually hurt the girl, but, being big and strong, he scared her badly. As Slim observed, "(Lennie) ain't mean", and George agreed, explaining, "(Lennie) jus' wanted to touch that red dress like he wants to pet them pups all the time".

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What trouble did George and Lennie encounter in Weed in Of Mice and Men?

They were run out of town. Lennie likes to touch soft things; he likes the way they feel in his hand. That's why he is constantly stroking rabbits and mice. His dream is to one day look after the rabbits on a ranch he's going to buy with George. Unfortunately, Lennie's penchant for stroking soft objects often gets him into trouble. It certainly does near the end of the story in relation to Curley's wife. And back in Weed it was a similar story, though without the tragic consequences. Lennie touched a girl's dress. His motives were completely innocent, but the girl and the townsfolk inevitably got the wrong idea. Not surprisingly, Lennie is perceived as a threat, so he and George have to escape Weed as soon as they can in order to avoid a possible lynching.

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What trouble did George and Lennie encounter in Weed in Of Mice and Men?

Lennie and George had trouble in the town of Weed. Lennie likes soft fur and soft materials. He likes to touch soft furs and soft materials. In the town of Weed, Lennie was touching a girl's soft dress. She did not want him to touch her dress. When she tried to pull away, Lennie would not let go. George retells the incident to Lennie with frustration in his voice:

"Jus" wanted to feel that girl's dress—jus' wanted to pet it like it was a mouse—Well, how the hell did she know you jus' wanted to feel her dress? She jerks back and you hold on like it was a mouse. She yells and we got to hide in an irrigation ditch all day with guys lookin' for us, and we got to sneak out in the dark and get outta the county.

When the girl yelled, Lennie and George had to run away for their own safety. This meant they would have to migrate to another ranch. George and Lennie lived on the run. Because of Lennie's tendency to get in trouble, George and Lennie were constantly on the move, migrating form ranch to ranch.

Lennie meant no harm to the girl. He just wanted to feel of her soft dress material. He is childlike in his actions but has to face responsibility like a man. He unintentionally frightened the girl. She jerked away and Lennie would not let go of her dress. Of course, she yells and Lennie and George run for their lives. 

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What trouble did George and Lennie encounter in Weed in Of Mice and Men?

Weed is the last town George and Lenny were in before they come to work on the farm.  When they were there, Lenny tried to touch a woman in a red dress because he thought she looked pretty.  She started to struggle, not understand that Lenny was probably harmless, and Lenny held on more tightly because of his confusion over the situation.  The woman went to the police, claiming she was raped.  George was forced to flee Weed with Lenny so that he was not arrested.  Once that incident is behind them, George tries to make a new start for the two of them on the ranch.  George doesn’t really want Lenny talking about what happened and certainly is careful about who knows what happened in Weed.  Despite the fact that Lenny did assault a woman, though he did not rape he, George still believes he is a harmless man with a good heart, which essentially proves true overall.

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What trouble did George and Lennie encounter in Weed in Of Mice and Men?

Before the novelette's action begins, George and Lennie are run out of the town of Weed because Lennie had once again gotten himself and George in trouble.  He saw a girl wearing a soft dress, and he touches it because "he likes to feel soft things." The girl naturally does not respond well to a stranger pinching her dress and tries to escape, but Lennie will not let go.  George and Lennie are literally forced to run for their lives when the girl cries for help.

The incident serves two purposes.  First, George references it to show the difficulties that Lennie has caused for the two of them, and Steinbeck uses to show that they are still loyal to one another.  Secondly, Lennie's penchant for touching soft items and especially getting them into trouble over a girl foreshadows the horrific incident in the barn with Curley's Wife.

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