Thank you to Kushal for preparing this comprehensive and thoughtful summary of significant moments and quotations at the start and end of each chapter. A very useful resource!

Chapter 1: Start

  • ‘A few miles south from Soledad’ – first line
  • Soledad means loneliness in Spanish
  • Links to theme of loneliness presented through the character
  • The word ‘south’ could mean everything could go downhill from the start
  • Setting – where the plot starts and ends in the novella
  • Unlucky place
  • Theme of death is linked to the Brush – at the start we are told a mouse is dead and at the end Lennie is shot by George
  • We are told about the context in relation to typical ranch workers
  • George and Lennie’s relationship
  • Gives a hint of whether George’s relationship with Lennie is protective or choice?
  • George is introduced first – presented as father-like figure

Chapter 1: Ending

  • ‘Shut up now’
  • Lennie is obedient
  • Shows George’s authority on Lennie
  • Dream conversation
  • George humours Lennie with different colour usage
  • He makes fun out of what Lennie wants to do
  • The Brush
  • We are told that George has told Lennie to come back to the Brush if he messes up – this foreshadows the thoughts of the reader
  • ‘The red light dimmed on the coals’

–      Darkness – danger?

Chapter 2: Start

  • Description of the bunk house
  • ‘Small squared windows’
  • Shows the closed mindset
  • ‘Long rectangular building’
  • It is never ending
  • Foreshadows with limited space each ranch worker has in the room
  • Theme – Loneliness
  • Ironic – they are together but alone

Chapter 2: Ending

  • ‘You seen a girl’
  • Curley refers to his wife as ‘girl’
  • Disrespectful
  • Links to masculinity
  • Chapter ending
  • Tense ending – foreshadows Curley and his role as a villain

Chapter 3: Start

  • ‘I ain’t so bright either’
  • George confiding in Slim
  • Shows a calm and receptive conversation – Slim presented as a good man and friend who is able to take responsibility and shows confidence in his leadership to the ranch workers – almost portrayed as ‘The Boss’

Chapter 3: Ending

  • ‘Looks to me like…’
  • Slim is in control and is leading the action
  • Links to the start
  • ‘Fist was lost in Lennie’s paws’ – this quote shows animal imagery and shows the power of Lennie’s physical dominance
  • Slim blackmails Curley so Lennie doesn’t get into trouble – shows his power on the ranch and shows he is able to control Curley, who is the Boss’ son

Chapter 4: Start

  • ‘Crooks’
  • Description of his room – shows he does have a say because we are given a description of his room
  • Details
  • The purpose is to give an insight of his room to shows the life of a segregated black man on a ranch in the 1930’s
  • ‘Negro stable buck’ – we are told he looks after the horses and he has a element of skill as he is the only person with this job on the ranch

Chapter 4: Ending

  • Broken dreams
  • The ‘weak ones’ have become defeated
  • Cyclical chapter because it represents the life of black people in the 1930’s
  • Breakdown of the dreams: 1. Curley’s wife and 2. George is upset at Candy and Lennie for revealing dream
  • Curley’s wife
  • She is weak because she has no name and no friends
  • Her husband has gone to the whore house
  • Theme – racism
  • I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain’t even funny.
  • ‘Nobody’d listen to you’
  • ‘A coloured man got to have some rights’

Chapter 5: Start

  • Lennie kills a puppy
  • ‘A little dead puppy’
  • George likes soft things – shows how vulnerable and excited he is to soft things as it causes an unlikely result
  • Theme – relationships
  • Lennie predicts what George will say when he finds out he has killed the puppy
  • This shows how well they know each other and it shows the number of occasions this has happened
  • Lennie is in fear of ‘tendin’ the rabbits’
  • Lennie is a quick thinker
  • When Curley’s wife enters he is quick to react and hide the puppy – clever
  • He can sense danger and tells her he wants ‘nothing’ of her

Chapter 5: Ending

  • Themes – power and revenge
  • Curley decides to kill Lennie instead of staying with his wife
  • Curley wants revenge over his hand not his wife
  • Curley makes this out as a mission
  • Whit ‘ain’t got a gun’
  • Carlson’s luger
  • ‘I’m goin’’
  • Theme – relationships
  • George makes extra time for Lennie because he lies to them saying ‘he would’ve gone south’
  • Shows his love to him
  • Readers now know where Lennie will be

Chapter 6: Start

  • ‘He came as silently as a creeping bear moves’
  • Simile – Lennie is still presented as an animal
  • Shows he still remembers the instructions George gave when they both first came to the Brush as migrant workers
  • Lennie can see Aunt Clara
  • We are revealed more to his mind
  • Shows severity of his learning difficulties

Chapter 6: Ending

  • George kills Lennie
  • George should’ve run off with Lennie
  • He couldn’t run off and he had to murder him
  • End of the dream
  • If they would’ve run off, they would’ve run off for the second time in the novella
  • Candy’s dog and Lennie were both shot on the back of the heads
  • Theme – relationships
  • Although George does kill Lennie, he shot him in a way so Lennie would feel no pain
  • He killed him so Curley could not torture him
  • George does lie and say Lennie had Carlson’s gun