In Steinbeck's novel Of Mice And Men, what are George and Lennie's plans for the future?
We learn from chapter one that George and Lennie are different from other ranch hands, as George states:
"With us it ain't like that. We got a future.
Other ranch hands do not have anyone to talk to, as they do, and since they have no future, as George puts it, they tend to:
"... come to a ranch an' work up a stake and then they go into town and blow their stake, and the first thing you know they're poundin' their tail on some other ranch. They ain't got nothing to look ahead to."
When Lennie excitedly asks George to tell him how their future is going to be like, he complies by saying:
"O.K. Someday- we're gonna get the jack together and we're gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an' a cow and some pigs and-"
An' live off the fatta the lan'," Lennie shouted. "An' have rabbits.
It is clear that the two companions plan to purchase a small farm where they will become self-sufficient. Lennie's excited interjection implies that they will not have any worries, since they would be independent and live from the proceeds of their farming venture.
Lennie consistently reminds George of this idealised existence throughout the novel and repeatedly asks him to retell the plan. He is obviously much taken in by the idea of a Shangri La where he and George will spend the remainder of their lives. He emphatically and naively believes that such an existence is within their reach.
This dream becomes more of a reality when they meet Candy, an old swamper on the ranch at which they start working. Candy listens in to a conversation between the two when they discuss their future. It is clear that George has already been working on their plan and provides specific details of the place, at Lennie's request:
"Well, it's ten acres," said George. "Got a little win'mill. Got a little shack on it, an' a chicken run. Got a kitchen, orchard, cherries, apples, peaches, 'cots, nuts, got a few berries. They's a place for alfalfa and plenty water to flood it. They's a pig pen-"
Lennie is mostly interested about the fact that they will have rabbits which he likes to fondle since he loves feeling their soft fur.
Candy, who is partly disabled and a loner, listens in wide-eyed wonder as George provides further detail. It is pertinently clear that the two had been turning this plan over and over in their heads and had had numerous talks about it, since the detail George provides is very specific. He even speaks about what kind of stove they will have in their house and other minor aspects regarding their future residence. It is clear that they have been meticulous in painting a mental picture of their ideal.
Candy is amazed and asks whether such a place actually exists and George obviously, when taken out of his reverie in talking about their dream, is abrupt and feels that their privacy has been invaded. However, Candy tells them about the money he has received for his injury and mentions that he has his income to add to that. The men start discussing adding their funds and purchasing the property. The three men realise that their plan might actually work and are overwhelmed by the thought.
They fell into a silence. They looked at one another, amazed. This thing they had never really believed in was coming true.
George is in complete awe that it all could come together just perfectly. it is as if this is a divine moment for him:
George said reverently, "Jesus Christ! I bet we could swing her." His eyes were full of wonder. "I bet we could swing her," he repeated softly.
He is referring to the fact that they can persuade the current owner of the property they plan to purchase, to accept four hundred and fifty dollars for the land, instead of the asking price of six hundred.
It is tragic that their careful plan is shattered when Lennie, in the dramatic denouement of the novel, accidentally kills Curley's wife.