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George said wonderingly, "S'pose they was a carnival or a circus come to town, or a ball game, or any damn thing." Old Candy nodded in appreciation of the idea. "We'd just go to her," George said. "We wouldn't ask nobody if we could. Jus' say, "We'll go to her,' an' we would. Jus' milk the cow and sling some grain to the chickens an' go to her." (3.224)
Check out the "wonderingly": when he's actually starting to believe that the farm might happen, George is most overwhelmed by the idea that they could do anything they wanted whenever they wanted. You know, kind of like going to college and ordering pizza at 2AM—except you have to milk the cow first.
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.
"O.K.," said George. "An' you ain't gonna do no bad things like you done in Weed, neither."
Lennie looked puzzled. "Like I done in Weed?"
"Oh, so ya forgot that too, did ya? Well, I ain't gonna remind ya, fear ya do it again."
A light of understanding broke on Lennie's face.
"They run us outa Weed," he exploded triumphantly.
"Run us out, hell," said George disgustedly. "We run. They was lookin' for us, but they didn't catch us."
Lennie giggled happily. "I didn't forget that, you bet." (1.50-55)
Lennie obviously has no concept of consequences, since he can't even remember the wrong that he did. So we have to ask: it just for George to keep dragging Lennie around with him? Or should George have taken action before Lennie ended up killing someone?