Of mice and Men Summary Chapters and Important Quotes Chapter 1 summary: The story begins when George and Lennie have left a ranch in weed. They are now camping out near the Salinas River. We find out that George is a slim and intelligent person but Lennie is a big strong and described as an opposite of George. Lennie goes to drink water from the pool’s edge and drinks like a hungry animal, George cautions him, telling him the water may not be very good. However, Lennie ignores his advice.
The two men are on their way to get a temporary job, George also warns Lennie not to say anything when they arrive and George makes him recite this to himself because he forgets things very quickly. In this chapter we easily identify the fact that Lennie likes to pet soft things. Lennie picks up a dead mouse which he finds on the side of the pool. George find out that he has a mouse in his pocket, which George confiscates and throws it into the weeds beyond the pond. Lennie retrieves the mouse, when George asks him to get and get wood for fire and once again George catches him and confiscates it.
George also gives Lennie a lecture about the trouble he causes when he wants to pet softs things, which is about the time when in weed he was touching a girl’s soft dress, which causes her to scream and alleged that he raped her. Lennie than offers to leave and go live in a cave, causing George to soften his complaint and tell Lennie that perhaps maybe, he can get him a puppy that he can pet, without killing the it. Before they go to sleep, Lennie asks George to repeat their dream of having their own ranch where Lennie will be able to tend rabbits.
George tells him about their dream and he also tells Lennie that if anything bad happens, he should come back to this spot and hide. Finally just before they go to sleep Lennie tells George that they must have rabbits of various colours. Important Quotes: “one stayed behind the other” “a huge man, shapeless of face, with large, pale eyes, and wide, sloping shoulder; and he walked heavily, dragging his feet a little” “drank with long gulps, snorting into the water like a horse” “dabbled his big paw” “I tried not to forget” “I remember about the rabbits, George” “Uh-uh.
Jus’ a dead mouse, George. I didn’t kill it. Honest! I found it. I found it dead. ” “You get in trouble. You do bad things and I got to get you out” “Well, how the hell did she know you jus’ wanted to feel her dress? She jerks and you hold on like it was a mouse. ” “because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you” “God, you are a lot of trouble,” “That was your own Aunt Clara. An’ sje stopped givin’ ‘em to ya. You always killed ‘em. ” “I never get no peace” “George’s voice became deeper. He repeated his words rhythmically as though he said them many times before. Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. With us it ain’t like that. We go a future. We got somebody that gives a damn about us. ” Chapter 2 summary: In this chapter, we get introduced to all the characters in the novel. The next morning, George and Lennie arrive at the ranch and go the bunkhouse. Candy informs them that the boss is mad because they were expected the night before. Candy shows them their bunks. When the boss arrives, he questions Lennie and George about their work history and skills, George answers for Lennie, which causes the boss to questions Lennie’s silence.
George emphasizes Lennie’s strength and work ethic. The boss also questions them on why they left their last job, George explains that there was no more work left, and this satisfies the boss, the boss tells them they can work on Slim’s grain team after supper. As soon as the boss leaves, George scolds Lennie for speaking. Curley, who is the boss’s son, enters and sizes challenges Lennie, by looking at Lennie, fisting his hands and stands in a fighting stance. He wants to know if they are the news guys, when George answers, Curley insists that Lennie must speak when spoken to.
Lennie just repeats Geroge’s answer softly; Curley is satisfied and then leaves. As soon as Curley leaves, Candy explains that Curley used to be a light weight fighter and now he hates big guys and always tries to pick fights with them. Candy also says that Curley has got much worse, as in his attitude, due to his marriage two weeks ago. George turns to Lennie and tells him to stay away from Curley and not to speak to him at all. In addition, if Curley punches him that he should take it and also George remind him where to go if he gets in trouble. Curley’s wife comes in soon after to the bunkhouse, claiming to look for Curley.
Lennie cannot takes his eyes off her because he was so fascinated, Slim than enters and says he saw Curley go into the house and Curley’s wife become apprehensive and leaves. When George says that Curley’s wife looks like a tramp, Lennie says that she looks pretty, causing George to tell him to stay away from her too just like with Curley. A new person emerges into the bunkhouse, who is called Carlson and he asks Slim about his puppies, suggesting that they could replace Candy’s old dog, smells bad and can barely walk. When Lennie hears about puppies, Lennie asks George to speak to Slim, so he could get a puppy.
Important quotes: ‘On his head was a soiled brown Stetson hat, and he wore high-heeled boots and spurs to prove he was not a labouring man. ’ “What stake you got in this guy? ” ‘His glance was at once calculating and pugnacious’ ‘angry little man’ – Curley ‘pretty handy’ ‘He hates big guys’ ‘Curley’s pants is full of ants. ’ – Candy Lennie looks to George for ‘instruction’ ‘Lennie’s strong and quick and Lennie don’t know no rules. ’ ‘she’s got the eye’ ‘a tart’ – Candy describing Curley’s wife “Hide in the brush by the river. ” Curley’s wife – ‘She had full, rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes, heavily made up’ ‘purty’ – Lennie poison’ and ‘jail-bait’- George ‘he moved with a majesty only achieved by royalty and master craftsmen’ ‘the prince of the ranch’ – Slim Chapter three summary: It starts with George and Slim the bunkhouse, George thanks Slim for giving him a pup. Slims comments on Lennie’s ability to work hard and mentions that it is obvious that Lennie is not too bright. Slim also questions why Lennie and Geroge go around together because most of the people he has seen on the ranch have all travelled alone. George than explains that he knew Lennie’s aunt, after her death.
He also says that Lennie just naturally began staying with Geroge and following him around. He also says that he accepted Lennie because he can play jokes on Lennie without him realising, but one day, he told Lennie to jump into the Sacramento River and Lennie did it. Lennie could not swim and he nearly drowned until George himself pulled him out, and since then, George does not play jokes on him because he feels sorry for him. George also confessed to Slim about why he left the ranch in Weed, which was due to the fact Lennie touched a girl’s red dress and the girl screamed and she accused Lennie of raping her.
Due to this the town men were on a man hunt for him, so George and Lennie hid in an irrigation ditch and escaped at night. Carlson than enters the bunkhouse and complains about the smell of Candy’s dog, he also offers to shoot the dog, just to put it out of its misery. Candy looks at the other guys especially for Slim to revert the decision. Slim sides with Carlson, and so Candy reluctantly lets Carlson take the dog out to be shot. George tells Candy about their dream of getting a piece of land and Candy asks if he can join them as he can contribute with a down payment he has from hurting his hand.
He offers to work on the land, as he explains that he is going to be let go soon, when he will not be able to work and he will have no place to go, so he has nothing to lose if he pitches in with them. Finally in this chapter, Curley picks a fight with Lennie. Lennie allows Curley to attack him, he looks at George and George tells him to get back at him. As a consequence, Lennie seriously injures Curley’s hand. Important quotes: “funny how you an’ him strong along together. ” – Slim to George “What’s funny about it? ” – George reply to Slim “I seen the guys that go around on ranches alone.
That ain’t no good…after a long time they get mean” – George “I heard all the yellin’, so I comes running, and’ by that time Lennie’s so scared all he can think to do is jus’ hold on. ” – George “Jesus. He’s jes’ like a kid ain’t he. ” – Slim “He ain’t no good to you Candy. An’ he ain’t no good to himself. Why’n’t you shoot him, Candy? ” “Candy looked helplessly at Slim, for Slim’s opinions were law. ” “Candy looked for help from face to face” “She’s gonna make a mess…she’s a jail bait all set on the trigger. That Curley got his work cut out for him” “Wed’d jus’ live there. We’d belong there. – George “S’pose I went in with you guys…I ain’t got much good, but I could cook and clean and hoe the garden some…” “They looked at each other, amazed. This thing they had never really believed in was coming true. ” “You seen what they done to my dog tonight?… When they can me here I wisht somebody’d shoot me. Bu they won’t do nothing like that. I won’t have no place to go. ” “I ought to of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn’t ought to of let no stranger shot my dog. ” “Lennie covered his face with his huge paws and bleated in terror. ” “Curley’s fist was swinging when Lennie reached for it.
The next minute Curley was flopping like a fish on aline, and his closed fist was lost in Lennie’s big paw. ” Chapter four summary: It is a Saturday night; this is when most of them men on the ranch go into town. Crooks is alone in his room when Lennie comes in, at first Crooks tries to send him away, but eventually a conversation starts, due to the fact Lennie says that he went into the barn to see his pups, and Crooks warns him that he is taking the pups out of the nest too much. Lennie’s disarming smile warms Crooks and he lets Lennie stay in his room and talk to him.
They both start to talk about land. Lennie reveals the secret about the farm, which Crooks first thinks that Lennie is making all this up. Crooks also starts to talk about George and Lennie’s relationship, he also annoys Lennie by saying George might not come back from where he has gone. The more Crooks dwells on this subject the more Lennie get annoyed and upset. Candy appears and talks to Lennie about the rabbits. Crooks interrupt and says that they are kidding themselves about this farm because George is in town spending their money at a whorehouse.
But Candy explains the money is in the bank, he also starts to describe the benefits of own and living on that farm. Crooks starts to believe the likelihood of this dream and he asks if he can join their venture and he says that he would work very hard with no pay. Soon after Curley’s wife appears at the door-way of Crook’s room, claiming she is looking for Curley and she also starts to complain that she needs someone to talk to. Candy says accusingly that she has a husband and she should stop fooling around with other men.
Curley’s wife replies by saying that, Curley does not have any time for her. She then enquires about Curley’s smashed hand. Candy tells her twice that it got caught in a machine, but she doesn’t seem to believe him. Crooks tells Curley’s wife than she has no right to be in his room, this causes Curley’s wife to threatens him by lynching and abuses Crooks, so an agreement develops. However, Crooks releases what she saying is true and he would not be able to do anything, so he stands down. Important quotes: “S’pose you didn’t have nobody.
S’pose you couldn’t go into the bunk house and play rummy ’cause you was black. How’d you like that? S’pose you had to sit out here an’ read books. Sure you could play horseshoes till it got dark, but then you got to read books. Books ain’t no good. A guy needs somebody” “I seen it over an’ over-a guy talkin’ to another guy and it don’t make no difference if he don’t hear or understand. The thing is, they’re talkin’, or they’re settin’ still not talkin’. It don’t make no difference, no difference…. It’s just the talking. ” “Want me to tell ya what’ll happen?
They’ll take ya to the booby hatch. They’ll tie ya up with a collar, like a dog. ” “‘A guy needs somebody-to be near him. ‘ He whined, ‘A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. ‘” “Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land. ” “I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain’t even funny. ” “Crooks had reduced himself to nothing. There was no personality, no ego – nothing to arouse either like or dislike. ” Chapter five summary: In this chapter, Lennie accidently kills the puppy that Slim had given him by petting it too much and Lennie gets upset as a result.
Curley’s wife finds him in the barn and she starts talking to him very openly about her feelings, she then allows Lennie to stroke her soft hair, but he does it so strongly that she panics, which ends up in Lennie killing her. He attempts to hide her body using hay and then runs away to the spot where George had told him to go if he got in any trouble. Candy finds the body, which was partly covered in hay and tells George straight away. The other men also find out that Curley’s wife has been killed and they only person who could have done this Is Lennie.
Now Curley wants revenge. He tells George to come with them to hunt down Lennie, or they will assume that he was in on it, (Lennie killing Curley’s Wife). Important quotes: “Now I won’t get to tend the rabbits’ ‘He rocked himself back and forth in his sorrow” “‘I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely. ” “I could made somethin’ of myself…Maybe I will yet. ” “Coulda been in the movies. ” “I don’t like Curley. He ain’t a nice fella. ” “On Lennie ‘Jus’ like a big baby. ” “Her body flopped like a fish” “He pawed up the hay. ” “We can’t let ‘im get away.
Why, the poor bastard’d starve…Maybe they’ll lock ‘im up an’ be nice to ‘im. ” – George “’You god-damn tramp’ ‘you lousy tart’” – Candy Chapter six summary: Lennie hides in the bush by the pool, this is where George told Lennie to go if he got into any trouble. He starts to dream of his Aunt Clara and the rabbits he will tend when he and George get their land. He also starts to have hallucinations of rabbits scolding him and telling him about the dream about tending the rabbits will not happen as George will not let him because of what he has done.
George finds Lennie, as he knows that Lennie would have gone to the spot he told him to go to if he got in any trouble. George talks to him and reassures him about the little place they will have together. George than shoots him to the back of the head with Carlson’s gun. When the other men find George, they assume he shot Lennie in self-defence, except Slim who knows what happened and the reason why George shot Lennie. Important quotes: “Lennie giggled with happiness” “Ever’body gonna be nice to you. Ain’t gonna be no more trouble. Nobody gonna hurt nobody nor steal from ‘em. ” “‘I just done it. ’” “You hadda, George. ”