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A summary of of mice and men by john steinbeck

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For the second time, George has to take away a dead mouse that Lennie has been petting. He consoles Lennie by recounting the story of their dream farm where Lennie will tend rabbits. Before retiring, George tells Lennie to remember this place by the river, because if Lennie ever gets into trouble he must return here and hide in the brush until George comes for him.

Both men are friendly and welcome George and Lennie to the ranch. Back in the bunkhouse, George confesses to a sympathetic Slim that they left their previous job because Lennie was accused of attacking a girl. Candy reluctantly agrees to allow Carlson to shoot the dog with his Luger pistol.

Of Mice and Men Summary

Though deeply saddened at the death of his longtime companion, Candy says later that he should have shot his dog himself, instead of letting a stranger do it. Sitting in the bunkhouse, George and Lennie again talk of their dream farm.

Curley sees Lennie smiling and accuses Lennie of laughing at him. He punches Lennie without retaliation.

  • When she tries to make him stop, he panics and accidentally breaks her neck;
  • At the riverbank awaiting George, Lennie is confronted with images of his dead aunt and a giant rabbit, both chastising him for disappointing George;
  • As he continues to smash it, she becomes worried that he will mess it up, so she tells him to stop;
  • Lennie likes to pet soft things.

When they try to get her to leave, she professes her own loneliness and makes a deliberate attempt to talk to Lennie, but she is driven away by the return of the other ranch hands. The next day, Sunday, Lennie returns to the barn to pet his puppy. When she tries to make him stop, he panics and accidentally breaks her neck.

What Happens in Of Mice and Men?

Realizing she is dead, Lennie flees. As the men are preparing a search party, Carlson announces that his gun is missing. At the riverbank awaiting George, Lennie is confronted with images of his dead aunt and a giant rabbit, both chastising him for disappointing George. When George arrives, he comforts his friend. As he hears the others nearing, he helps Lennie imagine, for the last time, their dream farm.

Only Slim understands what has happened. He comforts George and reassures him that this was what he had to do. It is only six chapters long, and about one hundred pages. It reads rather quickly, and it should take the average reader fewer than four hours to complete.

The novel can be divided into four sections, corresponding to the four days entailed in the plot, with each section taking place on a different day.

  • When they find out Slim's dog recently had puppies, Lennie insists that George ask Slim if he can have one;
  • Though deeply saddened at the death of his longtime companion, Candy says later that he should have shot his dog himself, instead of letting a stranger do it;
  • Both men are friendly and welcome George and Lennie to the ranch;
  • As he hears the others nearing, he helps Lennie imagine, for the last time, their dream farm.

Chapter 1 takes place on the Thursday night the men spend by the river. Chapters 2 and 3 cover Friday. Chapter 4 occurs on Saturday night. Chapters 5 and 6 contain the events of Sunday.