Plot and Structure
o Simple character with a powerful impact -- He is a big man, in contrast to his name.
• "Behind him(George)walked his opposite, a huge man, shapeless of face, with large, pale eyes, with wide, sloping shoulders; and he walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws. His arms did not swing at his sides, but hung loosely." o He loves to pet soft things, is blindly devoted to George and their vision of the farm, and possesses incredible physical strength
o He earns the reader’s sympathy because of his utter helplessness in the face of the events that unfold. Lennie is totally defenseless. He cannot avoid the dangers presented by Curley, Curley’s wife, or the world at large
o Doomed from the beginning
o His innocence raises him to a standard of pure goodness that is more poetic a character whose innocence only seems to ensure his inevitable destruction
o He is often described as a child or an animal - he drinks from the pool like a horse and his huge hands are described as paws.
o He is a small man, but has brains and a quick wit.
o He is short-tempered but a loving and devoted friend, whose frequent protests against life with Lennie never weaken his commitment to protecting his friend. George’s first words, a stern warning to Lennie not to drink so much lest he get sick, set the tone of their relationship. George may be terse and impatient at times, but he never strays from his primary purpose of protecting Lennie.
o He has been a good friend to Lennie, ever since he promised Lennie's Aunt Clara that he would care for him. He looks after all Lennie's affairs, such as carrying his work card, and tries to steer him out of potential trouble.
o He needs Lennie as a friend, not only because Lennie's strength helps to get them both jobs, but so as not to be lonely. His threats to leave Lennie are not really serious. He is genuinely proud of Lennie. • He shares a dream with Lennie to own a piece of land and is prepared to work hard to build up the money needed to buy it. o "...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."
• Crooks’ room shows how Crooks is different from the other ranch hands. Much of the room is filled with boxes, bottles, harnesses, leather tools, and other accouterments of his job. It is a room for one man alone. But scattered about on the floor are his personal possessions, accumulated because, unlike the other workers, he stays in this job. He has gold-rimmed spectacles to read (reading, after all, is a solitary experience -- Sure you could play horseshoes till it got dark, but then you got to read books. Books ain’t no good. 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 a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick
o Physical disability sets him apart from the other workers ( makes him worry that he will soon wear out his usefulness on the ranch )-- his isolation is compounded by the fact that he is a black man.-- S'pose you didn't have nobody. S'pose you couldn't go into the bunk house and play rummy 'cause you were black...A guy needs somebody-to be near him....I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick."
o Curley’s wife uses race against Crooks to render him completely powerless. When she suggests...