Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck

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Of Mice and Men | Quotes


He repeated his words rhythmically as though he had said them many times before.

Narrator, Chapter 1

The narrator stresses how the dream is something George and Lennie treasure and talk about over and over.


I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you.

Lennie, Chapter 1

Through Lennie the narrator shows why Lennie and George value their friendship so much.


Curley's like a lot of little guys. He hates big guys.

Candy, Chapter 2

Through Candy the narrator calls attention to an aspect of Curley's personality that will lead to trouble. Curley tends to dislike men bigger than himself before getting to know them. He puffs himself up around big guys, being combative before having reason to be, as a way of dealing with his own insecurity about his small size.


I don't know why. Maybe ever'body ... is scared of each other.

Slim, Chapter 2

Steinbeck contrasts the unique relationship between George and Lennie with the lonely lives of the other workers. Here Slim considers one reason why the workers choose isolation over companionship.


We could live offa the fatta the lan'.

Lennie, Chapter 3

This quotation stresses the value of owning land. If Lennie and George owned a farm, the land would provide for their needs, thereby giving them a degree of freedom and self-sufficiency.


I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick.

Crooks, Chapter 4

Loneliness and friendship is a major theme of the book. Here Crooks conveys how loneliness can be destructive. Despite their awareness Crooks and most of the other workers continue on their lonely paths.


Guys nearly crazy with loneliness for land, but ... a blackjack game took what it takes.

Crooks, Chapter 4

Every bindlestiff wants land and the security it brings, but migrant workers are their own worst enemies when it comes to securing this dream.


And then she was still, for Lennie had broken her neck.

Narrator, Chapter 5

The narrator describes the climax of the story, an event that seemed fated from the very beginning of the novel. George's warning to Lennie to hide at the tranquil pool in Chapter 1 and the story in Chapter 3 of how the two had to run from Weed after Lennie touched the girl wearing the red dress both foreshadowed this development.


As happens sometimes, a moment settled ... hovered and remained for much more than a moment.

Narrator, Chapter 5

The narrator conveys the heaviness and stillness of the moment after the death of Curley's wife. It is a dreadful and fateful moment, and the narrator wants readers to consider what led up to it and how it will determine events to come.


Ain't gonna be no more trouble. Nobody gonna hurt nobody nor steal from 'em.

George, Chapter 6

George retells the dream of the farm once more. Although he uses these words to describe the peaceful and safe haven it will be for them, he could as easily be describing the place he is preparing to send Lennie when he pulls the trigger and kills him. Is he describing this calm place to give Lennie one more happy moment or to reassure himself before he does what is necessary?

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