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Of Mice and Men
by John Steinbeck
Lennie Small Timeline and Summary
Lennie spends the night by the Salinas River with George. Lennie tries to hide the mouse he has petted (to death). When George throws Lennie’s mouse away, Lennie tells George he’s going to go live in a cave. Lennie begs George to tell the farm story. Lennie says a little too much when he is introduced to the boss at the new ranch. Lennie gets scared when Curley tries to pick a fight with him. Lennie sees Curley’s wife and thinks she is "purty." Lennie discovers that Slim’s dog has had puppies. Needless to say, he wants one desperately. Lennie gets his puppy! And he spends a considerable amount of time trying to sneak it into the bunkhouse so he can pet it. And pet it. And PET IT. Lennie is attacked by Curley. He does nothing to defend himself until George tells him to, at which point he pulverizes Curley’s hand. Lennie is worried that George won’t let him tend their future dream farm because he destroyed Curley’s hand. When the other men head to Suzy’s, Lennie gets lonely and goes to see Crooks. He happily speaks to him about the dream farm. When Crooks tries to tell Lennie that George isn’t coming back, Lennie gets scared and angry. Lennie gets to see Curley’s wife again. Hubba hubba. Lennie is incredibly happy when George returns. Lennie chills in the barn with his (dead) puppy. He is alternately mad and sad. Lennie is afraid when Curley’s wife enters the barn, but she’s not freaked out about the dead puppy. Lennie details his interest in petting soft things. Curley’s wife offers her hair to be petted. Lennie obliges. He obliges so thoroughly that he accidentally breaks Curley’s wife’s neck. Lennie tries to bury Curley’s wife under the hay, but then he decides to leave and head for the safe place George told him about, dead puppy in tow. Lennie waits for George to show up and worries about how mad he will be. Lennie hallucinates about his Aunt Clara and a HUGE, evil rabbit. Clearly, Lennie is extremely stressed. Lennie is thrilled when George shows up. He wants George to "give him hell," and then to tell him the dream-farm story. Lennie looks happily toward the river as George shoots him in the back of the head.