Of Mice and Men
by John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men Violence 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.
"I wasn't kicked in the head with no horse, was I, George?"
"Be a damn good thing if you was," George said viciously. "Save ever'body a hell of a lot of trouble." (2.61-62)
It's a good think Lennie isn't actually George's kid, because we're pretty sure that Child Protective Services would have to get involved. Lennie's an adult—but does that make it okay? Or does his mental disability make him so childlike that George might as well be abusing a kid?
"You said I was your cousin, George."
"Well, that was a lie. An' I'm damn glad it was. If I was a relative of yours I'd shoot myself." (2.63-64)
Way to be melodramatic, George. At least he's not actually threatening Lennie, this time. We guess.
"I’ll try to catch him," said Curley. His eyes passed over the new men and he stopped. He glanced coldly at George and then at Lennie. His arms gradually bent at the elbows and his hands closed into fists. He stiffened and went into a slight crouch. His glance was at once calculating and pugnacious. Lennie squirmed under the look and shifted his feet nervously. Curley stepped gingerly close to him. "You the new guys the old man was waitin’ for?" (2.74)
We get the feeling that, for Curley, challenging the new guys to a fight is almost like friending them on Facebook: it's just what he does when he meets new people. To be fair, he was a professional boxer; it's probably hard to let go of old habits. Especially violent ones.