Of Mice and Men
by John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men George Milton Quotes
[George] heard Lennie’s whimpering cry and wheeled about. "Blubberin’ like a baby! Jesus Christ! A big guy like you!" Lennie’s lip quivered and tears started in his eyes. "Aw, Lennie!" George put his hand on Lennie’s shoulder. "I ain’t takin’ it away jus’ for meanness. That mouse ain’t fresh, Lennie; and besides, you’ve broke it pettin’ it. You get another mouse that’s fresh and I’ll let you keep it a little while." (1.76)
Words like "whimpering" and "blubbering" aren't very dignified: Lennie isn't weeping like a man; he's whining like a baby. Is this weakness sympathetic—or just pathetic?
The boss pointed a playful finger at Lennie. "He ain't much of a talker, is he?"
"No, he ain't, but he's sure a hell of a good worker. Strong as a bull."
Lennie smiled to himself. "Strong as a bull," he repeated.
George scowled at him, and Lennie dropped his head in shame at having forgotten. (2.35-38)
Lennie is all brawn, and no brains—which, in Of Mice and Men, is a pretty dangerous combination. Of course, the opposite is true, too. You can't say that Curley is all brains, but he's definitely smarter than a lot of the ranchhands—smarter and smaller. Either way, you're out of luck. (Unless you're Slim.)
"God, you're a lot of trouble," said George. "I could get along so easy and so nice if I didn't have you on my tail. I could live so easy and maybe have a girl."
For a moment Lennie lay quiet, and then he said hopefully, "We gonna work on a ranch, George." (1.56-57)
Uh-huh. Somehow we doubt that a girl would be much inclined to wander from ranch to ranch while George looks for steady work.