Lennie & obsession with "soft things" - (mice, woman in weed, his puppy)
- Foreshadows future events - Curley's Wife is killed when Lennie breaks her neck after stroking her hair
- When he pets the mouse, he's doing something that makes him feel safe and secure - but also something which would be looked down upon in society
Lennie & Strength/Violence
- Lennie's aggression is innocent, unlike the others on the ranch he doesn't always intend for events to result the way they do
- He doesn't want to cause pain, e.g. when he crushed Curley's hand he says he "didn't wanna hurt him" - but George encourages him saying "Get im' Lennie", because of their relationship, Lennie is more likely to follow his orders and obey
- When he accidently killed Curley's wife, he was more worried that he done another "bad thing" (killing the puppy, then Curley's Wife) and that George would be disappointed in him. His lack of sympathy towards Curley's Wife's death adds to the sadness of the event, and highlights how Lennie is more concerned for the well-being of animals then humans - it's as if he isn't able to identify a difference between the two.
Lennie & the American Dream/Dreams
- America is supposed to be about 'the land of the free' - built on promise and opportunity
- George says "I got to thinking maybe we would", demonstrating how Lennie's enthusiasm toward the dream gave him hope, even though in reality he knew the dream wouldn't actually be possible to fulfil
- The American Dream itself is impossible, and the death of Lennie is symbolic of that
- Lennie's death is symbolic that all good things coming to an end
- George uses the dream to give them both hope for the future, once word spread the other ranch workers wanted in too - demonstrates the importance of dreams on a whole in the novella, and for those who lived in the 1930s Great Depression era in a similar situation to the characters
- Lennie just wanted to "tend the rabbits" - nothing more - it was George who thought the whole dream up so Lennie is not entirely to blame
- The dream was told to Lennie like a story, linking to his childlike innocence
Lennie & Other Stuff
- Rel'ship with Curley's wife lands him in trouble, he tries to listen to what George said about ignoring her - but his curiosity got the better of him, and the consequences of her death show how one of his innocent mistakes once again lands him in unexpected trouble
- Lennie's character is always associated with death - he uses it for comfort? Is life important to Lennie? Or is it that friendship, comfort, and things that he can pet take more of an active role
- When people are of no use to society, they are either experience discrimination (Lennie's mental disability) or get mixed up in events that lead them to become killed (like Lennie) because of in some cases, their 'helplessness'
- Lennie Small - he's described as "shapeless" and a "bear"
- Write about his animalistic features/actions
Curley's Wife & Dreams - "I ain't used to livin like this. I coulda made something of myself"
- Lost potential – she could have been a Hollywood star
- Every character had a dream, because none of them were achieved it resulted in a loss of hope
- Chance of stardom was taken from her mother who felt she was too young
- Takes every chance she can to talk about her lost dream
- Her shattered dream of being an actress caused her to rush into her marriage with Curley
- Forced to realize the reality that running away from your problems usually isn't the best course of action
Curley's Wife & Identity
- No name
- "Curley's Wife" demonstrates that she is Curley's property
- She's not an actual person, more so an 'object'
- Microcosmic of women and their roles in 1930's America - links to stereotypes?
- Only women on the ranch
Curley's Wife & Appearance
- Steinbeck’s introduction of her builds misconceptions - "full rouged lips and wide spaced eyes, heavily made up" - he…