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Lennie cried out suddenly—"I don' like this place, George. This ain't no good place. I wanna get outa here." (2.165)
Out of the mouth of babes: Lennie may not be book-smart (we're not even sure he can read, come to think of it), but he has a kind of gut-instinct that makes him sensitive to bad vibes on the ranch. Too bad George, who's a relative genius compared to Lennie, doesn't listen.
Lennie went back and looked at the dead girl. The puppy lay close to her. Lennie picked it up. "I'll throw him away," he said. "It's bad enough like it is." (5.59)
Lennie knows he's done a "bad" thing, but he's so innocent that he somehow thinks throwing away the puppy is going to make it look better. Well, fair enough. It is always worse when the dog dies.
"George—why ain't we goin' on to the ranch and get some supper? They got supper at the ranch."
George rolled on his side. "No reason at all for you. I like it here. Tomorra we're gonna go to work. I seen thrashin' machines on the way down. That means we'll be bucking grain bags, bustin' a gut. Tonight I'm gonna lay right here and look up. I like it." (1.60-61)
Lying around in a field looking up at the stars with your best friend by your side sounds like a pretty good definition of freedom to us.