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Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men


by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men Man and the Natural World Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph) Though Steinbeck did not originally include chapter numbers with the text, most editions are broken into six sections, based on day and time of day: Thursday evening = Chapter 1; Friday day = Chapter 2; Friday evening = Chapter 3; Saturday night = Chapter 4; Sunday afternoon = Chapter 5; Sunday evening = Chapter 6.

Quote #1

[He] walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, way a bear drags his paws. His arms did not swing at his sides, but hung loosely. (1.4)

Should we keep count? This is instance #1 of Lennie being compared to an animal—a bear, no less: a massive, occasionally violent creature.

Quote #2

His huge companion dropped his blankets and flung himself down and drank from the surface of the green pool; drank with long gulps, snorting into the water like a horse. The small man stepped nervously beside him. (1.5)

Instance #2 of Lennie being compared to an animal—this time, a horse who has to be kept from drinking too much water. There's a sense here, at least, that man has some responsibility to control the natural world.

Quote #3

Lennie dabbled his big paw in the water and wiggled his fingers so the water arose in little splashes; rings widened across the pool o the other side and came back again. Lennie watched them go. "Look, George. Look what I done." (1.9)

Lennie doesn't get hands—he gets "paws," and he's fascinated with how those paws can affect the natural world. It's also as though, like an animal, he doesn't quite understand cause-and-effect.

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