Two itinerant workers, George and Lennie, are introduced. They rest in a small clearing by the Salinas River, on their way to a nearby ranch where they expect to sign on for work. They have hurriedly left the last ranch, following an incident involving Lennie in Weed. Lennie pleads with George to tell him over and over again about their dream ranch, where Lennie’s main task will be to tend the rabbits. Lennie’s Aunt Clara, whom he refers to as “that Lady”, is briefly introduced to the novel, as is Lennie’s love of petting mice.
• Introduction of George and Lennie – character descriptions (p.19-20) • We first hear about the American Dream (p. 31-33)
• First hints of what happened in Weed (p.24, 29)
The next day George and Lennie arrive at the ranch and go to the bunk house, where they meet most of the other main characters in the novel: Candy, an old “swamper” with only one hand; Curley, the boss’s son; the boss, who is suspicious that George will not let Lennie speak for himself; Curley’s “purty” young wife, who flirts with the other men; Slim, the top ranch hand who is respected by all the other ranch hands; and Carlson, another of the established hands. Slim is friendly towards George and Lennie. His bitch dog has recently given birth to pups and begs George to ask him if he will give one to Lennie as a pet.
• Introduction of the other characters (and mention of Crooks, the stable buck) – character descriptions are throughout the chapter • We can begin to see the hierarchy on the ranch – introduction of Curley (p.46-48) – introduction of Slim (p.55-57) - CONTRAST • Introduction of Curley’s wife – important for the theme of sexist attitudes towards women? (p.53-54)
George reveals to Slim the real reason why he and Lennie travel together. Slim realises that Lennie has the mentality of a child. George tells Slim about the supposed rape in...