Of Mice and Men Study Guide Chapter 1: 1. The beginning of the novel begins with a rich description of the physical setting. Cite examples of three uses of descriptive language. Explain how this affects the mood of this story. What is Steinbeck trying to suggest about the area by the Salinas River? a. Steinbeck is creating a place of rest in the middle of 2 stressful situations. The color descriptions, animals, and sounds are peaceful, even for those boys and men from the ranch that have “beaten a path” toward the river. The water is described as warm and sunlit. The leaves under the trees have created a fluffy pillow-like bedding of the ground underneath the tree. The path is mentioned as being beaten toward the water by both hard-working individuals and weary travelers, as though the river is a sanctuary. 2. Provide 2 examples of how Lennie is described as an animal in this chapter. Why do you think Steinbeck describes him this way? a. Lennie’s feet move as though he is a bear dragging his paws and when he drinks, he looks like a horse. Steinbeck is starting to paint Lennie as simple. 3. George gives Lennie instructions about the water, and when he explains about the type of water that is safe to drink, he does so “hopelessly” (page 3). What can we infer about why George might feel hopeless when he is talking to Lennie? a. We can infer that George has told Lennie this important information before, and it would suggest that Lennie is not capable of remembering, so it will not make any difference how many times George tells him the rules. 4. When Lennie and George sit by the river to rest, what do they talk about? What can be learned about Lennie from their conversation? What can we learn about George? a. Lennie asks George where they are going. George reminds Lennie about how they watched the blackboards until they received work cards and bus tickets. George discovers that Lennie has a dead mouse in his pocket and makes him get rid of it. George then explains that they are going to work on a new ranch, and we get a glimpse of the fact that they did not leave their last ranch in Weed because Lennie did something he shouldn’t have. Through these conversations, we are able to learn more about Lennie’s mental capacity. It is becoming more clear to the reader how profound Lennie’s mental disability is. George is clearly a caretaker for Lennie. 5. What does Lennie have in his pocket? Why does he want to keep it? a. Lennie has a dead mouse in his pocket that he wants to keep and pet because it is soft. Lennie is NOT BOTHERED by the fact that the mouse is dead, only that George might be mad at him. 6. Describe George’s plan for getting the job at the ranch. What do we learn about Lennie from this plan?