What are some significant quotes from Of Mice and Men?

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The term significant quotations applies to passages and dialogues that reveal character traits or pertain to theme or are pivotal to the plot of a narrative.

In John Steinbeck' novella, the theme of man's alienation as a result of the Great Depression is prevalent throughout the narrative.  One significant passage is the recitation of the dream that Lennie asks George to repeat.  This can first be found in Chapter 1, but it is repeated throughout the book

.  (Since pages vary depending upon the publication, it is nearly impossible to provide the correct page.)

Prior to this recitation of the dream which brings comfort to the men, George explains to Lennie the value of their friendship:

"With us it ain't like that.  We got a future.  We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us.  We don't have to sit in no bar room blowin' in our jack jus' because we got no place else to go.  If them other guys gets in jail they can rot for all anybody gives a damn.  But not us."

Lennie broke in.  "But not us!  An' why? Because...because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that's why."  He laughed delightedly.  "Go on now, George." [Ch.1]

A tall man stood in the doorway....Like the others he wore blue jeans and a short denim jacket.  When he had finished combing his hair, he moved into the room, and he moved with a majesty only achieved by royalty and master craftsmen.....There was a gravity in his manner and a quiet so profound that all talk stopped when spoke.  His authority was so great that his word was taken on any subject, be it politics or love.  This was Slim, the jerkline skinner....His ear heard more than was said to him, and his slow speech had overtones no of thought, but of understanding beyond thought.  His hands, large and lean, were as delicate in their actions as those of a temple dancer.  [Ch. 2]

Slim looked through George and beyond him. "Ain't many guys travel around together," he mused.  "I don't know why.  Maybe ever'body in the whole damn world is scared of each other." [Ch.2]

George looked over at Slim and saw the calm, God-like eyes fastened on him...."He's [Lennie] a nice fella," said Slim.  "Guy don't need no sense to be a nice fella.  Seems to me sometimes it jus' workds the other way around.  Take a real smart guy and he ain't hardly ever a nice fella." [Ch.3]

"I ain't got no people," George said.  "I seen the guys that go around on the ranches alone.  That ain't no good.  They don't have no fun.  After a long time they get mean.  They get wantin' to fight all the time." [Ch.3]

Later in this chapter, Carlson wants to take Candy's old dog outside and put him down.  Candy cannot bear to part from his old friend, and is desolated by the final judgment:

Candy looked a long time at Slim to try to find some reversal.  And Slim gave him none.  At last Candy said softly and hopelessly, "Awright--take 'im.""  He did not look down at the dog at all.  He lay back on his bunk and crossed his arms behind his head and stared at the ceiling. [Ch. 3]

In the world of men, Curley's wife is the Eve, the temptress who disrupts any change of fraternity:

George said, "She's gonna make a mess.  They's gonna be a bad mess about her.  She's a jail bait all set on the trigger.  That Curley got his work cut out for him.  Ranch with a bunch of guys on it ain't no place for a girl, specially like her. [Ch.3]

Continuing the theme of fraternity, Crooks says,

"A guy needs somebody--to be near him....A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody.  Don't make no difference who the guy is, long's he's with you.  I tell ya," he cried, "I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick." [ch.4]

After shooting Lennie, George is told by Slim,

..."You hadda, George.  I swear you hadda.  Come on with me."...

Curley and Carlson looked after them.  And Carlson said,  "Now what the hell ya suppose is eatin' them to guys?"  [Ch. 5]

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Justify memorable quotes from Of Mice and Men.

Steinbeck's description of the Salinas Valley to open and close the novel might be considered a memorable quote.   If nothing else, it represents how much detail and technical skill that Steinbeck demonstrates in his construction of the setting of the novel.  Another memorable quote would have to be George's speech to Lennie about how "Guys like us" are different from others. In this would be Lennie's "living offa the fatta lan'" as showing how strong the bond between both men are.  It represents how both of them demonstrate solidarity in a world that is devoid of it. Slim's statement about how this is lacking is also memorable:

“Ain’t many guys travel around together,” he mused. “I don’t know why. Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.”

Along these lines would be Lennie's variations on the basic quote of "tending the rabbits."  This is significant and memorable because it is constant throughout the novel, helping to provide a sense of cadence and structure through it despite the changes that take place throughout it.  Candy's statement of desperation and loneliness is also significant.  When he remarks that he "should have shot him myself," as a statement about what he should have done regarding the treatment of his dog, it serves as a reminder of how much companionship and love is needed, more so in a setting absent of it.  Carlson's closing quote might be memorable because it is a statement about how rare the friendship experienced in the world actually is:

Now what the hell ya suppose is eatin' them two guys?

Such a line becomes a statement on how most of the world struggles to understand the pain and difficulty that exists when people care for one another and love one another.

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What are some memorable quotations from Of Mice and Men? Briefly explain why they are significant.

John Steinbeck's poignant novella of the desperate and dispossessed itinerant worker of the Great Depression presents as themes the terrible loneliness of these men and the hopelessness of their position in society. 

When George speaks with Slim, the mule-skinner, he explains the importance of fraternity as a defense against the terrible alienation that the itinerant worker suffers.  For, having someone who cares about them provides the men a "future," some meaning to their lives.

 "Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place....With us it ain't like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us."

Slim the mule-skinner is described as an exceptional man who has "God-like eyes." Skillful and insightful, Slim acts as the hero and the moral compass of the narrative when, after Lennie's death, he tells George that he really had no choice but to shoot Lennie-- "You hadda." In Chapter 2, Steinbeck describes Slim,

His ear heard more than was said to him, and his slow speech had overtones not of thought, but of understanding beyond thought. His hands, large and lean, were as delicate in their actions as those of a temple dancer.

As part of Steinbeck's message that men of alienated lives become vulnerable, the character of Carlson is developed to portray how the younger and stronger have no sympathy.  He tells Candy, the old swamper, that the dog stinks and is useless; with no feeling, he offers to shoot the dog for Candy. When Candy appeals to Slim for a "reversal," Slim tells him

"Carl's right, Candy. That dog ain't no good to himself. I wisht somebody'd shoot me if I got old an' a cripple."

Candy, then, understands that the same fate awaits him.

"You seen what they done to my dog tonight? They says he wasn't no good to himself nor nobody else. When they can me here I wisht somebody'd shoot me. But they won't do nothing like that. I won't have no place to go, an' I can't get no more jobs."

In addition to the itinerant condition of the men who seek work in the Depression, there are other obstacles to achieving a fraternity which can unify them and provide strength and comfort.  One impediment to their fraternity comes with the character of Curley's wife, who is often interpreted as the archetype of the temptress, an "Eve."

After he sees Curley's wife in the doorway of the bunkhouse in Chapter 3, an angered George comments,

"She's gonna make a mess. They's gonna be a bad mess about her. She's a jail bait all set on the trigger. That Curley got his work cut out for him. Ranch with a bunch of guys on it ain't no place for a girl, specially like her.

Furthering the theme of fraternity, Crooks, who is forced to live in the stable alone, mentions in Chapter 4 that a man needs another by whom he can "measure" himself,

"A guy needs somebody--to be near him....A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. Don't make no difference who the guy is, long's he's with you. I tell ya," he cried, "I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick."

Repeatedly, John Steinbeck mentions the terrible cost to the human spirit when it is alienated from others.  This brotherhood of man is necessary for individual meaning in one's life as well as the only defense against the deprivations of dignity in a capitalistic world.

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In Of Mice and Men, what are some meaningful quotes from each chapter?

In Chapter One, George explains why he and Lennie aren't like the other itinerant ranch hands who have no future. 

With us it ain't like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us. We don't have to sit in no bar room blowin' in our jack jus' because we got no place else to go. 

George then describes the farm they hope to have some day. This section shows two themes: friendship and the elusive American dream. 

George constantly warns Lennie what not to do but there are times when Lennie feels pressured in social situations. The swamper tells George that Curley is always looking for a fight, foreshadowing what is to come. "Curley's like a lot of little guys. He hates big guys. He's alla time picking scraps with big guys." 

In Chapter 3, Candy tells George, "I ought to of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn't ought to of let no stranger shoot my dog." This is significant because of what George feels forced to do at the end of Chapter 6. 

In Chapter 4, Crooks asks to come work on Lennie's and George's farm if it should ever manifest. 

He hesitated. ". . . If you . . . guys would want a hand to work for nothing--just his keep, why I'd come an' lend a hand. 

After being scolded by Curley's wife however, Crooks tells Candy to forget that he offered. Like Lennie, Crooks is a social outcast and this is a moment when he gets his hopes up but then, discouraged, he once again accepts that he is the outcast. 

The crucial moment in Chapter 5 is when Curley's wife invites Lennie to feel her hair. As he'd done with the puppy, he couldn't control his emotions or his own strength.

"Don't go yellin'," he said, and he shook her; and her body flopped like a fish. And then she was still, for Lennie had broken her neck. 

The most dramatic moment in Chapter 6 is when George brings himself to do to Lennie what Candy could not do to his dog. Slim is wise enough to realize that George had to kill Lennie and Slim is George's only source of consolation. Then, symbolically, Slim leads George away from the Salinas River, George's and Lennie's safe haven and the place where the story began. 

Slim said, "You hadda, George. I swear you hadda. Come on with me." He led George into the entrance of the trail and up toward the highway. 

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What quote is significant in the book Of Mice and Men?

The most important quote in my opinion is when George and Lennie speak of their friendship.  In the world of migrant workers, there are no friendship and no true community.  George makes this comment clearly, and more importantly he says that he and Lennie are different.  They are different, because they have each other.  Here is the quote:

Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don’t belong no place. . . . With us it ain’t like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us.

Slim, one the most observant people in the book, sees this aspect about George and Lennie.  He says:

“Ain’t many guys travel around together,” he mused. “I don’t know why. Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.”

Other characters also see this point about George and Lennie, and they appreciate it.  Also George and Lennie, on account of their friendship, have a dream to own land.  I don't think they would be able to dream like this, unless they had each other. 

Finally, at the end of the story, when George takes Lennie's life, he acts as a friend.  George gave his best friend a "good death," in view of what would happen to him if the men found him first. 

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