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Characters

Quote #1

"I’ll try to catch him," said Curley. His eyes passed over the new men and he stopped. He glanced coldly at George and then at Lennie. His arms gradually bent at the elbows and his hands closed into fists. He stiffened and went into a slight crouch. His glance was at once calculating and pugnacious. Lennie squirmed under the look and shifted his feet nervously. Curley stepped gingerly close to him. "You the new guys the old man was waitin’ for?" (2.74)

We get the feeling that, for Curley, challenging the new guys to a fight is almost like friending them on Facebook: it's just what he does when he meets new people. To be fair, he was a professional boxer; it's probably hard to let go of old habits. Especially violent ones.

Quote #2

Lennie's eyes moved down over her body, and though she didn't seem to be looking at Lennie she bridled a little. She looked at her fingers. "Sometimes Curley's in here," she explained. George said brusquely, "Well he ain't now."

"If he ain't, I guess I better look someplace else," she said playfully.

Lennie watched her, fascinated. George said, "If I see him, I'll pass the word you was looking for him."

She smiled archly and twitched her body. "Nobody can't blame a person for lookin'," she said. There were footsteps behind her, going by. She turned her head. "Hi, Slim," she said. (2.145-150)

"Bridled," "arch," and "twitch": is it just us, or is Curley's wife sounding a lot like a cat rubbing against a pole right now? Given the way Lennie's looking at her, that's … not good news.

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