OF MICE AND MEN by John Steinbeck first takes place a few miles south of
Soledad. There were two men by the names of George and Lennie who became life
long partners. George thought Lennie needed support because Lennie was mentally
retarded. Later, George and Lennie moved to a ranch nearby Soledad.
George and Lennie got into trouble a few miles south of Soledad in a town
called Weed. The men were hiding out along a river called Salinas, across from the
Gabililan mountains. Trouble occurred in Weed when Lennie grabbed a hold of a
ladies dress, because he was curious about the texture of the fabric. The woman
took it the wrong way and became upset and frightened. Curdling screams caused
some men to come rushing to the aid of the woman.
Lennie then became frightened and ran away. George was such a supportive
and understanding friend that he ran away with him. Running together, the two
frightened men hid out in the Salinas River waiting for dusk to come. When dusk
arrived, the two men gathered wood and built a fire. Luckily, George had three
cans of pork and beans with him in his backpack. They stayed there until morning
to start walking again.
George told Lennie that he heard of a ranch that was four miles ahead of
them and they could get a job there. George told Lennie that if he would get into
trouble at the ranch, that he should come back and hide in the bush. Sunrise had
came and the two men began their walk to the ranch. When George and Lennie
arrived, they saw a huge long rectangular building where the bunks were inside, the
walls were white and the floor was wood. The old swamper showed Lennie and
George to their assigned bunks.
While George and Lennie were getting settled in, a stocky man stood in the
doorway. He had on blue jeans, a flannel shirt, a vest, a coat, boots and spurs.
George and Lennie quickly knew that the man in the doorway was their boss. With
a deep voice, the boss asked, “You got your workslips?” George quickly reached in
his pocket and pulled out their slips and handed them to the boss. The boss then told
them to go out after dinner and help out with the team by picking up barley at the
threshing machine.
After the boss left, the old swamper came in with his broom in his hand, and
was followed by an old sheep dog with blind eyes and struggling just to get to the
other side of the room. Suddenly, a young man with dark curly hair came into the
room wearing high heeled boots and spurs on them. It was the boss’s son, named
Curley. After Curley left, a girl with large lips, beautiful sparkling eyes, and red
fingernails appeared in the doorway. She said, “I’m looking for Curley”, but, all
the guys just stood there and admired her except George. He turned his head and
said, “He was in here a minute ago, but he went.”
Slim and Carlson began to talk, and Carlson asked Slim if his female dog had
her pups. Carlson thought that Slim could give up one of his pups so he could give a
pup to Candy the old Swamper and get rid of Candy’s dog. The poor dog smelled,
could barely see, and had trouble walking without pain. Later that night, when
Candy was lying in bed, Carlson asked, “Do you want me to put the old devil out of
his misery right now, Candy?” Making excuses Candy said, “You ain’t got no gun.”
Then Calrlson told Candy that he does have a Luger. Candy sure didn’t know what
to think or what to say, so he gently said, “Oh, maybe tomorrow.” As the night went
on, Candy finally told Carlson to take the puppy.
Curley came flinging open the door as he walked inside. The boys knew there
was going to be trouble. Lennie began laughing at something Candy said to Curley.
Curley then got angry and raged at Lennie for laughing and told him to get up and
fight like a man. Lennie wouldn’t hurt a fly on purpose. So he just stood up
and stared at him. Curley was a small statured man, but he went ahead and took a
swing at Lennie and broke his nose. While all of this was taking place, George was
yelling, “Get him Lennie! Get him!” So Lennie took it