On their way to a new job, George and Lennie spend the night in a clearing. George scolds Lennie for accidentally killing a mouse and warns Lennie to avoid any problems at the new ranch. To console Lennie, George reminds him of their dream to one day own their own farm.
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George and Lennie arrive at the ranch bunkhouse, where they meet a ranch hand, Candy, and the boss. After meeting the boss’s aggressive son, Curly, George cautions Lennie to stay away from Curly and his wife. George and Lennie also meet two other ranch hands, Slim and Carlson, who discuss Slim’s puppies and the possibility of killing Candy’s aging dog.
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Slim marvels at George and Lennie’s friendship, leading George to explain how they met, why George feels obligated to protect Lennie, and why they were forced to leave their old job. Lennie, Carlson, and Candy enter the bunkhouse, at which point Carlson convinces Candy to let him shoot his dog out of mercy. Curley, upset over his suspicion that Slim is sleeping with his wife, takes his anger out on Lennie, only to have his arm broken by Lennie in self-defense.
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Crooks, the only Black worker on the ranch, is joined by Lennie and Candy. Crooks disregards Lennie and Candy’s dream of owning their own farm. The men are interrupted by Curley’s disenchanted and unhappy wife who threatens to have Crooks lynched for stepping out of line.
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Lennie escapes to the clearing after accidentally killing Curley’s wife and the puppy Slim gifted him. Candy finds the body of Curley’s wife and informs George of what transpired. A mob forms to hunt Lennie down.
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At the clearing, Lennie has a vision of his Aunt Clara and a giant rabbit. George appears and tells Lennie about the farm one last time, as well as iterating how lucky they are to have one another. George then shoots Lennie. George tells the mob a version of what happened, but only Slim realizes that George shot Lennie out of mercy.
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