Of Mice and Men
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A controversial tale of friendship and tragedy during the Great Depression
They are an unlikely pair: George is "small and quick and dark of face"; Lennie, a man of tremendous size, has the mind of a young child. Yet they have formed a "family," clinging together in the face of loneliness and alienation.
Laborers in California's dusty vegetable fields, they hustle work when they can, living a hand-to-mouth existence. For George and Lennie have a plan: to own an acre of land and a shack they can call their own. When they land jobs on a ranch in the Salinas Valley, the fulfillment of their dream seems to be within their grasp. But even George cannot guard Lennie from the provocations of a flirtatious woman, nor predict the consequences of Lennie's unswerving obedience to the things George taught him.
"A thriller, a gripping tale . . . that you will not set down until it is finished. Steinbeck has touched the quick." —The New York Times
blackjack game took what it takes." He hesitated. If you . . . . guys would want a hand to work for nothing-just his keep, why I'd come an' lend a hand. I ain't so crippled I can't work like a son-of-a-bitch if I want to." "Any you boys seen Curley?" They swung their heads toward the door. Looking in was Curley's wife. Her face was heavily made up. Her lips were slightly parted. She breathed strongly, as though she had been running. "Curley ain't been here," Candy said sourly. She stood still
"What you doin' in Crooks' room? You hadn't ought to lie here." Crooks nodded "I tol' 'em, but they come in anyways." "Well, why'n't you kick'em out?" "I di'n't care much," said Crooks. "Lennie's a nice fella." Now Candy aroused himself. "Oh, George! I been figurin' and figurin'. I got it doped out how we can even make some money on them rabbits." George scowled. "I thought I tol' you not to tell nobody about that." Candy was crestfallen. "Didn't tell nobody but Crooks." George said, "Well
get killed so easy." He worked his fingers on the pup's limp ear. "Maybe George won't care," he said. "This here God damn little son-of-a-bitch wasn't nothing to George." Curley's wife came around the end of the last stall. She came very quietly, so that Lennie didn't see her. She wore her bright cotton dress and the mules with the red ostrich feathers. Her face was made up and the little sausage curls were all in place. She was quite near to him before Lennie looked up and saw her. In a panic
another mouse that’s fresh and I’ll let you keep it a little while." Lennie sat down on the ground and hung his head dejectedly, "I don’t know where there is no other mouse. I remember a lady used to give ’em to me - ever’ one she got. But that lady ain’t here." George scoffed. "Lady, huh? Don’t even remember who that lady was. That was your own Aunt Clara. An’ she stopped givin’ ’em to ya. You always killed ’em." Lennie looked sadly up at him. "They was so little," he said, apologetically.
"He gonna leave you, ya crazy bastard. He gonna leave ya all alone. He gonna leave ya, crazy bastard." Lennie put his hands over his ears. "He ain't, I tell ya he ain't." And he cried, "Oh! George-George--George!" George came quietly out of the brush and the rabbit scuttled back into Lennie's brain. George said quietly, "What the hell you yellin' about?" Lennie got up on his knees. "You ain't gonna leave me, are ya, George? I know you ain't." George came stiffly near and sat down beside