Of Mice and Men
by John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men Chapter 6 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph) Though Steinbeck did not originally include chapter numbers with the text, most editions are broken into six sections, based on day and time of day: Thursday evening = Chapter 1; Friday day = Chapter 2; Friday evening = Chapter 3; Saturday night = Chapter 4; Sunday afternoon = Chapter 5; Sunday evening = Chapter 6.
She stood in front of Lennie and put her hands on her hips, and she frowned disapprovingly at him.
And when she spoke, it was in Lennie’s voice. "I tol’ you an tol’ you," she said. "I tol you, ‘Min’ George because he’s such a nice fella an’ good to you.’ But you don’t never take no care. You do bad things." (6.10)
Lennie’s hallucinations seem to fully reflect Lennie’s real weaknesses and fears. Aunt Clara talks about how Lennie would never run away because he’s dependent on George. The big scary rabbit preys on Lennie's fear Crooks brought up -- that George might outgrow Lennie and leave him. It makes the audience wonder whether Lennie has, stored away in his consciousness, knowledge of what he’s done wrong and deeper knowledge of himself. Perhaps he just lacked the good sense to access it, and now that he has, something irreparable has happened. Lennie as we know him – slow, but mostly sane – might have lost some of his sanity after he killed Curley’s wife. Of course, there is no way to know for sure.
Slim came directly to George and sat down beside him, sat very close to him. "Never you mind," said Slim. "A guy got to sometimes." (6.96)
Tack on another role for Slim: priest. He's essentially absolving George of the sin of murder here, saying that it was the right—i.e., the just—thing to do.
Lennie said, "I thought you was mad at me, George."
"No," said George. "No, Lennie, I ain't mad. I never been mad, and I ain' now. That's a thing I want ya to know." (6.87-88)
Lennie's biggest fear isn't being locked up: it's being locked out. To him, being on George's bad side would be about worse than anything. Apparently freedom and confinement don't have to include locks.