"Of Mice and Men" Notes

Outline of the book "Of Mice and Men" by chapter.

Of Mice and Men

By: John Steinbeck

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Chapter 1

·         Setting is a few miles south of Soledad at the Salinas River

·         Very descriptive author, describes scene thoroughly

·         Two men appear in scene, start drinking from the river

·         Names of characters are Lennie and George

·         Lennie is not very intelligent, travels with George and does what George says and does

·         Lennie forgets everything besides things about rabbits; has memory loss problems

·         They travel along and work at ranches to get their pay

·         They can’t stay at any jobs for too long because Lennie does something bad; last job was in a place called “Weed” and they were run out of town

·         Lennie loves Ketchup, says that throughout the story

·          Lennie is very strong and whenever he gets mice to pet he kills them

·         He used to live with his Aunt Clara and she would give him mice, but she stopped because he would kill them all

·         An example of Lennie’s memory loss is on page 9 when he dints remember who the lady was (Aunt Clara)

·         They were run out of their last job because Lennie wanted to feel a girls dress and she jerked back; Lennie held on like it was a mouse and they had to hide in an irrigation ditch all day and sneak out at night

·         George was mad and told Lennie about the life he would have without him

·         Lennie fells bad and tells George he could go off and live in the hills all alone

·         George realizes he was being mean and tells Lennie he wants him to stay

·         Lennie asks George to tell them about their future they want to have and Lennie is happy again

·         He tells about how they will have a couple of acres of land and have cows and chickens and rabbits and live off the fat of the land

Chapter 2

·         They showed up at their next job at ten o’clock in the morning, the boss was expecting them last night and was angry

·         George finds bug killer can above his bed, worried about bugs in his bed

·         The guy that showed them their room told them that the guy that had his bed before him was a clean freak and their weren’t necessarily bugs in his bed

·         Boss is nice, brought a gallon of whisky to the workers one Christmas

·         When boss comes in Lennie doesn’t say a word and George does all the talking

·         The boss asked why Georg takes so much stake in Lennie and he says it is because Lennie is his cousin and he promised his Aunt he would take care of him; says he was kicked in the head by a horse when he was a kid

·         Curly the bosses son comes in along with a swamper and snaps at Lennie and leaves

·         The swamper tells the reason he doesn’t like Lennie is because he is big

·         Curly has a wife that is not liked by the swamper’s because she is known to look for trouble and not to be faithful to Curly; loose morals

·         George tells Lennie to hide in the brush by the river and wait for George if they have a problem

·         Women came in, looking for Curly, Lennie stared at her, couldn’t stop; George describes her as a tramp

·         Candy has a very old dog that stinks a lot, Slims dog had babies, wants to give one to Candy

·         Curly came in about a half an hour later looking for his wife

Chapter 3

·         Slim and George played cards and George told Slim about Lennie

·         An old worker got his letter published in a pulp magazine

·         Carlson convinced Candy to let him shoot his old dog with his Luger because he has no teeth, and is no good to himself, and he stinks and is no good to anyone else

·         Candy stared at the ceiling in silence until they heard a shot, then he turned over and stared at the wall

·         Curly and his wife are always looking for each other

·         Lennie asks George to tell him their future again; loves hearing it

·         Candy wants to go in on the house with them, has $350 saved up, 250 because he lost his hand

·         Curly and Candy got in an argument, Candy was mad, Lennie was spacing out and smiling at the thought of the ranch

·         Curly thinks Lennie is laughing at him, goes after him

·         Curly started punching him, and Lennie obeyed George and didn’t attack him

·          George then tells Lennie to get him and Lennie catches one of Curly’s punches and shatters all the bones in his hand, he is taken to a doctor

·         Slim tells Curly that he has to say his hand got caught in a machine or everyone will embarrass him, Curly agrees

Chapter 4

·         Crooks is the black stable buck, George and Lennie visit him, he is happy because white men are nice to him

·         Curly’s wife doesn’t believe them about his hand

Chapter 5

·         Lennie was alone in the barn and he accidentally killed the puppy by petting it, Lennie was mad because he was afraid George wouldn’t let him tend to the rabbits

·         Curly’s wife came in and tries to tell Lennie it is o.k. because there are more mutts he can get

·         Lennie says he isn’t supposed to talk to her because he will get into more trouble, she says she just gets lonely and likes to talk to someone nice

·         She tells him about how she was almost a movie star

·         She tells Lennie to stroke her hair because it is smooth, he strokes it and she tells him to let go, but he grips it tighter, she starts yelling and tells him to stop, but he put his hand over her mouth and she yells louder so Lennie flops her like a fish

·         She then laid still because Lennie had broken her neck

·         Lennie realizes he did something bad and goes to the hiding spot

·         Candy and George find her, George goes back to his room and Candy calls the guys and they all come running together so George isn’t mistakenly a suspect

·         They go off in a group to kill Lennie

·         Candy stayed behind

Chapter 6

·         Lennie appears at spot and has a story replayed in his head, yells out loud

·         George finds him and tells him he isn’t going to punish him

·         George tells Lennie that he needs to look away from him and he picks up gun and drops it; this happens a few times

·         Finally shoots him, throws the gun away

·         Once guys come he says Lennie had the gun and he took it and shot him

·         Slim tells George it had to be done

·         Had to do it because he would have been tortured otherwise

·         Curly and Carlson wonder what is eating at them

Thematic issues

·         Commitment- George to Lenny and Lenny to George; everything he knew was George

·         Loneliness, life on the road, no permanent relationship besides each other, George wouldn’t because he wouldn’t let go of Lenny, Lenny wasn’t capable

·         Hope- having their own house, a real future, becoming settled

·         Loss- any possible future that is positive, loss of friendship 

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