Of mice and men
Lenny – Lenny Small is a big man, but with small brains. He lacks intelligence, so relies on George to help look after him. He likes petting soft, smooth things, like mice, puppies and rabbits, this made him and George flee from Weed when Lenny tried touching a girl’s silk dress, and the girl thought he was trying to hurt her. Lenny tends to forget things, so George always tells him twice for what he can or cannot do. He can work well and does what he is told to do.
George – George Milton is good friends with Lenny, he promised Aunt Clara that he will take care of him. George is a small man, but is smart and witty, completely the opposite of Lenny. He is truthful and honest; especially with people he knows he can trust, George also needs Lenny as a friend, not only because of his size and strength, but as so not to be lonely.
Curley – Curley, who just got married, is the boss’s son, so he doesn’t work like the others, and has time to kill. He’s small, but a prize-fighter, he hates big guys so, starts fights with Lenny. Nobody likes Curley, not even his wife, but they can’t be rude to him because his dad is the owner of the ranch they are working at.
Curley’s wife – Curley’s wife doesn’t actually receive a name in the book, she is just known as Curley’s ‘property’. She is young and pretty, Lenny is also attracted to her. Curley’s wife is the only woman in the town, so is rather lonely, she also tells Lenny that she doesn’t like Curley, and only got married to him because she didn’t receive a letter from Hollywood. Characters in the novel refer to her as a ‘tramp’ , but Steinbeck tries to show her as a victim.
... ants’ this is telling us that the men have no respect for Curley and his wife and they don’t like them and ... has only had sex with Curley and she knows nothing about sex. The men talk about Curley and his wife and say words like ... ‘the new kid’, a “looloo” and ‘Curley’s’ pants is ...
Candy – Candy is the oldest character in the novel, and only has one hand (he lost his other during an accident at work).
He has a very old dog, which he has had since it was a puppy, it was his only friend, but Carlson shot the dog in the back of the head, because it was too old and ill. Although Candy agreed with it, he was devastated. He soon makes friends with George and Lenny and offers to help them with their Dream.
Crooks – Crooks is the only black man in the Ranch, and works as a stable hand. He is a permanent employee there, due to an injury on his back while working. He gets very isolated because of his skin color, he can’t go into the bunk house or socialize with others. He only ever socializes with the others when they play horseshoes, and he wins every time.
Friendship – There are strong friendships in “Of mice and men”, the strongest being with George and Lenny. Crooks, Candy and Slim make friends with them too. Lenny becomes closer with crooks, whereas George becomes closer with Slim. The book is also based around ‘Friendship’ and played a major role in the novel. Unfortunately, a lot of friendships are broken in the end, such as Candy and his dog, George and Lenny, Curly and Lenny. George and Lenny’s friendship was the center point of the book, this is because they were such close friends for a great period of time, when most people had nothing. In spite of their differences, they still manage to be the best of friends, this is what separates them from everyone else.
Loneliness – Every character in the story faces loneliness, Crooks lives in solitude and Isolation, away from everyone else and is anti-social. When Candy’s dog died, he was tragically upset, his dog was his only friend, and had nothing left when it was killed. Curley’s wife is the only female in the town, she has no other women to talk to and Curly tries keeping her away from the other men. She does try to befriend the men however, but the men try their hardest to ignore her, this is because Curly doesn’t want anyone talking to his wife.
Dreams – All the characters in the story (except Slim and Curly) had their own dreams. From the beginning, George and Lenny discuss their dream with each other of owning their own land and live on it in freedom. Lenny also shares this dream but his main desire is to tend the rabbits they will own. When the dream is shared with others, everyone starts dreaming about a better lifestyle they wish they had. Candy and Crooks soon share this fantasy which helps them to push even farther. Curley’s wife had a dream of becoming a movie star, this started when a man claimed she would be taken to Hollywood, but she never received a letter from him.
... cold black dirt. Jennifer became worried that "the man" or one of his "best friends" would find her. What would she do ... got into a car accident and died, in October. She dreamt her father exploding and being constantly angry, in October. She ... a TV Remote and she smacked it across the man's head. She dreamt about the loud crunching sound as alarm clock ...
Without dreams, the characters would have nothing.