Lennie and George arrive at the ranch, greeted by Candy, the handy man who leads them to the boss’s house. George advises Lennie to stay quiet for a good first impression. The boss pays no attention to them while seated at his table. George starts a conversation with him as Lennie stands by the door. Lennie laughs when George describes him as “strong as a bull,” but stops when he sees George’s stern glance. Feeling scared of George’s strictness on the ranch, Lennie decides not to speak or interact with anyone there. Suddenly, the boss asks Lennie loudly and directly, “Listen small, what can you do?” This puts Lennie in an uncomfortable position as he doesn’t want trouble from either George or the boss.
Filled with fear and confusion, unsure of what to do, he gazes at Lennie. George, with his quick-thinking mind, evaluates the situation and speaks on behalf of Lennie. After their conversation with the boss, Lennie and George leave the house. Outdoors, George engages in a stern conversation with him, appearing annoyed by Lennie’s actions. “Once the sound of footsteps had faded,” George confronts Lennie. “So you were not going to utter a single word. You were planning to keep your mouth shut and let me do all the talking. Damn it, you cost us the job.” Looking down at his hands, Lennie reveals his sorrow and vulnerability through his feeble excuse as he sobs.
Lennie and George are led by Candy to their shack, where they begin unpacking. Suddenly, Curley appears and demands to know where his father is. As he observes Lennie and George, he immediately assumes a boxing stance. He coldly looks at Lennie and George, gradually bending his arms at the elbows and closing his hands into fists.
He became rigid and assumed a slightly defensive stance. His gaze was both calculating and aggressive. Lennie wriggled uncomfortably under his stare and anxiously shifted his feet. Curley cautiously approached him. Lennie appeared to be frightened by this man’s presence. Lennie believed he had not done anything wrong to upset him. As a result, Lennie squirmed, uncertain why this individual was confronting him.
Encounter with Curley’s wife
After their encounter with Curley, Lennie and George continue unpacking when suddenly Curley’s wife enters the room. Lennie becomes captivated by her beauty and cannot help but stare at her. Curley’s wife engages in conversation with George, who responds with brief and direct answers to bring the conversation to a quick end. Noticing that she is not receiving much attention, she leans on the doorframe in an attempt to be noticed and continues the conversation. Once she leaves, Lennie tells George that he finds her attractive, saying, ‘She’s pretty,’ Lennie said.
George responds with a significant outburst, admonishing Lennie for associating with Curley’s wife by calling her a tramp and warning him to stay away from her. It is possible that George said this to frighten Lennie and prevent a repetition of the incident with the lady in the red dress, as he wants to avoid such unfavorable circumstances. In summary, all of the aforementioned reasons contribute to Lennie’s statement, “I don’t like this place George, this ain’t no good place.” Lennie feels incredibly unhappy due to the limitations imposed on him, and he is also bewildered by George’s outburst regarding Curley’s wife because he does not understand what he has done wrong.