Of Mice and Men
by John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men Friendship Quotes
How we cite our 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.
"Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place. They come to a ranch an' work up a stake and then they go inta town and blow their stake, and the first thing you know they're poundin' their tail on some other ranch. They ain't got nothing to look ahead to." (1.113)
It's hard out there for a ranchhand. Steinbeck seems to be saying that the loneliness is even worse than the poverty: like Lennie and George, you can bear a lot more if you have a friend.
"With us it ain't like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us. We don't have to sit in no bar room blowin' in our jack jus' because we got no place else to go. If them other guys gets in jail they can rot for all anybody gives a damn. But not us."
Lennie broke in. "But not us! An' why? Because… because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that's why." He laughed delightedly. "Go on now, George!" (1.115-116)
These guys aren't dancing improbably around a poolside (or swashbuckling around France), but it still sounds a lot like "All for One." Lennie may not be quite holding up his end of the bargain, but he still understands that friendship means sticking together.
"We travel together," said George coldly.
"Oh, so it's that way."
George was tense and motionless. "Yea, it's that way." (2.80-82)
By saying "Oh, so it's that way," Curley is essentially accusing Lennie and George of being gay. But George doesn't take the bait. It just shows how pathetic Curley is that he can't understand the men's friendship.