“An’ of information we can glean from this

“An' it'd be our own, an' nobody could an us. If we don't like a guy we can say, 'Get the hell out,' and by God he's got to do it. An' if a fren' come along, why we'd have an extra bunk, an' we'd say, 'Why don't you spen' the night?' an' by God he would.” (pp.

58) Although there are many important passages in Of Mice and Men, this passage is particularly important to the novella as a whole for a number of reasons. Steinbeck uses this passage to describe, and build up hope for, the dream that George and Lennie have, displaying the hope and naivete hidden beneath George's rough-and-tumble countenance. One major point of information we can glean from this passage is a connection between the title and the events of the novella. This passage displaysGeorge acting as a protective guardian or parent figure, a recurring theme throughout the story. The simple, almost childlike, optimistic excitement about the “future” reveals a side of George he doesn't normally allow himself to show.

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The farm that George describes acts as a sort of catalyst for the rest of the action in the book. An important component of this passage involves its connection to the title. The words “of mice and men” come from a poem by Robert Burns, entitled “To A Mouse.” The actual verse, in modern English, reads “The best-laid plans of mice and men/ Often go awry.” Steinbeck uses the dream farm as the “plans” mentioned in the poem. Lennie's causing the accidental death of Curley's wife cause his and George's plans to go awry. An interesting thing to note is the use of the phrase “best-laid plans” in the original poem.

The dream farm of Lennie and George wasn't so much a plan as a hope the two had. The fact that things don't come together despite the fervent wishes of Lennie and George, and later on Candy, and to a lesser extent, Crooks, shouldn't be surprising to anyone who had previous knowledge of the poem, or the old adage “if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.” However, there is also a double meaning in the title, highlighting the importance of mice in the lives of these men, Lennie and George. The mice act as a portent to the Lennie's deadly clumsiness, that becomes so very important later in the story.

George acting as a guardian figure, almost a big brother, to Lennie is a theme common throughout Of Mice and Men. At times, George truly acts like an older brother to Lennie in that, although he is allowed to be hard on Lennie, saying mean things to him, telling him to do foolish things, like jumping into a river, if anyone else tries to do the same, George will stick up for Lennie. In this passage, George is trying to comfort Lennie in this new place, answering his questions about the future, among a variety of other things. There are many other times throughout the novella when George is forced to act as a wise role model for Lennie. When Curley is baiting Lennie, trying to prove to the rest of the ranch hands how tough he is, it is George who is forced to tell Lennie to protect himself from the smaller man. Lennie was just too simple to understand what was happening, requiring George's input in order to protect himself. But probably the most important incidence of George acting affectionately, yet firmly, in regards toward Lennie, would be the last events of the story, after Lennie has fled after accidentally killing Curley's wife.

George decides that he has to kill Lennie, if only to save him from the fear he would feel if Curley and the other men caught him. If the other men had brought him in to be lynched, Lennie would have been scared and confused. George shows.

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