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"George—why ain't we goin' on to the ranch and get some supper? They got supper at the ranch."
George rolled on his side. "No reason at all for you. I like it here. Tomorra we're gonna go to work. I seen thrashin' machines on the way down. That means we'll be bucking grain bags, bustin' a gut. Tonight I'm gonna lay right here and look up. I like it." (1.60-61)
Lying around in a field looking up at the stars with your best friend by your side sounds like a pretty good definition of freedom to us.
"I wish I could put you in a cage with about a million mice an' let you have fun." His anger left him suddenly. He looked across the fire at Lennie's anguished face, and then he looked ashamedly at the flames. (1.89)
Confess: this is a wee bit creepy, because George is essentially saying that he'd like to lock Lennie up. But, with a million mice to pet, would Lennie really experience it as confinement? Or would it be the best type of freedom—the freedom to do exactly what he wants all day?
"Tha's good," he said. "You drink some, George. You take a good big drink." He smiled happily. (1.7)
George has just reamed Lennie out for drinking too fast, but Lennie is so innocent that he doesn't even get mad. He just smiles "happily" when George takes a drink. From this perspective, innocence doesn't look too bad.