In Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck idealizes male friendships of both George Milton and Lennie Small. explain the nature of being human and one's struggles in life. The novel shows the struggles of two men in California in the great depression era. come to a ranch in Salinas vally to "work up a stake". They hope to one day attain their shared dream of settling down on their own piece of land. Lennie's part of the dream, which he never tires of hearing George describe, is merely to tend to (and touch) soft rabbits on the farm. The novel a has a number of characters. The subordinate characters are Curly, Curlys wife, Crooks, Slim, Carlson, and Candy. Men like George and Lennie that work on ranches are the loneliest in the world, with no family and no home, but they have each other. Someday they're going to raise enough money to have a small farm.
To begin, Lennie and George in need of work. This is a problem for the both of them. George is a short weak man and Lennie is mentally slow. So getting a job was not a piece of cake in this depression. But they each are two pieces of a puzzle. George is smart and Lennie is strong as a bull. but Lennie gets him fired from every job they take. They were run out of their previous job when Lennie wanted to feel a girl's dress, and she screamed, accusing Lennie of attempting rape. George and Lennie reach the bunk house at the farm. The old man who shows them the bunk house tells them that his boss was expecting them last night and was angry when they weren't ready for work that morning. Enters and asks George and Lennie for their work slips. George attempts to talk for Lennie, but the boss notices that Lennie is silent and attempts to get him to talk. But receives the job. Slim praises how hard Lennie works, saying that he isn't bright, but Lennie is certainly a formidable worker. Slim finds it funny how Lennie and George travel together. He says that hardly any of the guys ever do so. George defends Lennie, saying that he's not bright but certainly not crazy.
George and Whit, another worker, discuss Curly's wife. Whit says that Curlys Wife can't keep away from the guys. Curley bursts in to the bunkhouse and demands to know where his wife is. He asks where Slim is and how long he has been gone, then leaves once more. Curley returns with Whit, Carlson and Slim. Curley argues with Slim over his wife, and the other men join in making fun of Curley. Curly picks a fight with Lennie because he believes that he is laughing at him. Lennie doesnt fight back and cries to George for help he gives him permission to stop him. Lennie crushes Curlys hand and doesnt let it go until George says so. The guys make fun of curly afterwards. George talks to Slim about his dream of owning his own land. Candy tells them about a plot of land that he knows about. George proposes that they go in on the farmhouse together. George claims that if they work for a month, they should raise enough for the farmhouse.
On Sunday afternoon, Lennie was in the barn petting his new puppy. He had killed the puppy by bouncing it too hard. Lennie scoops out a little hollow and lays the puppy in it. Lennie plans to tell George that he found it dead, but realizes that George will know that he did it. Suddenly Lennie becomes angry at the dead puppy, raging at the puppy for being so fragile and worrying that he won't be allowed to tend rabbits. Curley's Wife enters the barn, wearing her bright cotton dress. Lennie tells her that George forbids him from talking to her, but she tells him stuff about her getting lonely and needs some one to talk to. She asks him if he likes to feel velvet, and says that her hair is soft. She allows Lennie to feel her hair, but he messes it up. She screams at him to let go, and Lennie covers her mouth to stop her from screaming. She struggles violently, and Lennie breaks her neck. Lennie leaves the barn with the dead puppy. Curley's Wife lay there half-covered in hay, her rouged cheeks and reddened lips seeming more alive than ever. Candy comes looking for Lennie in the barn, but finds the body of Curley's Wife. He calls for George and shows her. George tells Candy that they should find Lennie and have him locked up. Candy says that they should let Lennie get away, for Curley will have Lennie lynched. Candy worries that this will upset their plans to get a place. George tells Candy to tell the guys at the bunkhouse, and he will come along and act like he hadn't seen her. The men come across the body and blame Lennie. Curly rounds up the men to help find Lennie.
Lennie goes to the river and talks to him self. He is imaging people in his head and his aunt yelling at him. He cries and begs his aunt to forgive him. Lennie says that he will go off in the hills, where he can't bother George. George comes out from the brush. Lennie admits that he did a bad thing. George says woodenly that if he were alone he could live so easily. George begins his speech about how they differ from other men, for they have each other. George tells Lennie to take off his hat, then continues to tell Lennie how it will be for them. As George speaks, he gets out Carlson's gun and shoots Lennie in the back of the head. Hearing the gunshot, Curley and the other men find George. George tells Carlson that Lennie took his gun, and when he took it back from him, he killed him with it. Slim reassures George that he had to do it, while Carlson and Curley look on in disbelief, wondering why he is so upset.