Of Mice and Men
by John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men Lennie Small Quotes
Lennie watched him with wide eyes, and old Candy watched him too. Lennie said softly, "We could live offa the fatta the lan'."
"Sure," said George. "All kin's a vegetables in the garden, and if we want a little whisky we can sell a few eggs or something, or some milk. We'd jus' live there. We'd belong there. There wouldn't be no more runnin' round the country and gettin' fed by a Jap cook. No, sir, we'd have our own place where we belonged and not sleep in no bunk house." (3.202-203)
Casual racism aside, notice that George and Lennie's little version of the American Dream includes a kind of masculine domesticity—no girls allowed.
"Where we goin', George?"
The little man jerked down the brim of his hat and scowled over at Lennie. "So you forgot that awready, did you? I gotta tell you again, do I? Jesus Christ, you're a crazy bastard!"
"I forgot," Lennie said softly. (1.14-16)
Simmer down, George. Almost as soon as we meet him, George is stomping around the novel flinging verbal abuse as Lennie. Does Lennie acknowledge this as a kind of violence, or is he generally unaffected by it?
Lennie looked sadly up at him. "They was so little," he said apologetically. "I’d pet ‘em, and pretty soon they bit my fingers and I pinched their heads a little and then they was dead—because they was so little. I wish’t we’d get the rabbits pretty soon, George. They ain’t so little." (1.79)
Hm. On a second look, it doesn't seem like these mice deaths are so accidental after all. They take place when Lennie retaliates against them by pinching their heads. He might not mean to kill them, but he definitely means to hurt them.