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Section 3

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Section 3

Section 3

Section 3

“We’d just go to her,” George said. “We wouldn’t ask nobody if we could. Jus’ say, ‘We’ll go to her,’ an’ we would. Jus’ milk the cow and sling some grain to the chickens an’ go to her.”

(See Important Quotations Explained)

Nearly all of the characters in Of Mice and Men are disempowered in some way. Whether because of a physical or mental handicap, age, class, race, or gender, almost everyone finds him- or herself outside the structures of social power, and each suffers greatly as a result. Inflexible rules dictate that old men are sent away from the ranch when they are no longer useful and black workers are refused entrance to the bunkhouse. While the world described in the book offers no protection for the suffering, there are small comforts. Lennie and George’s story is one such reprieve. The power of their vision of a simple life on an idyllic little farm rests in its ability to soothe the afflicted. In the opening chapter, this vision acts like a salve for Lennie and George after their tumultuous departure from Weed; now, it rouses Candy out of mourning for his dog. As soon as the lonely old man overhears George and Lennie discussing their plans, he seems pitifully eager to join in this paradise. Talking about it again also manages to calm and comfort Lennie after his upsetting run-in with Curley. Despite the fact that with Candy’s help the possibility of purchasing the farm grows more real for George and Lennie than ever before, it is clear that tragic events will intervene. George’s story will prove to be only a temporary escape from the world’s troubles, not a cure.

Steinbeck advances the narrative toward the inevitable tragedy through many instances of foreshadowing in this section. The story of Lennie’s behavior in Weed and his performance in the fight with Curley establish his tendency to exert great strength when confused and frightened. Combined with George’s earlier observation that Lennie kept accidentally killing mice while petting them, these events heavily anticipate Lennie’s deadly interaction with Curley’s wife in the book’s climactic scene. Furthermore, the method by which Carlson kills Candy’s dog, with a painless shot to the back of the head, sadly mirrors the way George will choose to murder his dearest friend. It is no coincidence that soon after George confides in Slim that he has known Lennie since childhood, Candy pathetically says that he could never kill his dog, since he has “had him since he was a pup.” Most significant is Candy’s quiet comment to George that he wishes he had shot his old dog himself and not allowed a stranger to do it, a distinct foreshadowing of the decision George will make to kill Lennie himself rather than let him be killed by Curley and the others.

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SECTION 3 QUIZ

Why did George stop playing tricks on Lennie years ago?
Because Lennie crushed his hand and told him never to do it again
Because he nearly made Lennie drown once and felt ashamed
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A good read, but sad

by Alfred_F_Jones, February 02, 2013

We read the novel for my 9th grade English class, and I'm supposed to be writing and essay about it right now, but oh well. It was an amazing book, though many of my classmates disliked it. The characters were impressive and I really liked old Candy. It was good for historical reference and offered a look at the depression.

The shot book got me attached to the characters, and I almost cried at the end, but I was in class.

Overall I'd give it an 9 out of 10

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93 out of 134 people found this helpful

Of Mice and Men Plot Summary

by giannamarie11, February 05, 2013

Of Mice and Men is a fantastic novel that shows how hard it was in the times of the Great Depression. The difference between Lennie and George compared to the migrant workers is that they had each other. In the novel, it shows how George takes care of Lennie who has a mental disability. Most of the migrant workers wanted to achieve the success of the American Dream that was different for every American. Lennie and George too wanted to the euphoria of achieving their American Dream. Lennie and George’s dream was to own a ranch and live off ... Read more

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237 out of 289 people found this helpful

Minor Characters?

by DanyStormborn, August 22, 2013

I read the book and really enjoyed it, but now I have to write the essay. I have to write about a minor character that is very important to the story, the only problem is, I can't see to figure out which characters would be considered 'minor.' I was thinking about using Slim, but please let me know if you can think of a better suggestion! Thanks

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4 out of 16 people found this helpful

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Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series)

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