Of Mice and Men – Task Eight

 
1) How is the bunk house described? What does the description tell the reader about the men who live there?

 

The apple-boxes reveal that the men have very few possessions (enough to be stored in a single box), while the cards scattered on the table indicate that the men have little to do with their time.

 

2) What do we find out about Curley, his wife, and his father through George’s discussions with others.

 

 

Curley’s father seems a strict but fair employer. Candy explains that at Christmas he bought his men a gallon of whisky – a generous act.

Curley is recently married, but he seems suspicious that his wife is having an affair. Candy again explains that his wife has “the eye” – she seems to be looking for an affair.

 

 
3) How would you describe Curley and his wife? What do their actions tell you about each of their characters?

 

 

Curley’s constant searching for his wife reveals that he is insecure about her – he thinks she will cheat on him. He is also clearly determined to take out his aggression on Lennie.

 

Curley’s wife is flirtatious, which seems to justify the view that she is “a tart”. However, when we realise she is the only woman on the ranch, we can see that she isn’t seeking an affair – she is seeking attention and affection which she does not receive from her husband.

 

“Can’t blame a person for lookin’” – On the surface, she means “you can’t blame me for trying to find Curley”, but there is a flirtatious edge, suggesting that she also means, “you can’t blame me for checking other men out”.

 


 4) Re-read Steinbeck’s description of Slim. What does this description tell you about Slim’s character? Is he a man to be trusted and looked up to?

 

 

Slim is described in regal terms (“majesty”, “royalty”, “prince”). We learn he is a “master craftsman” at his work. He commands respect of the other men as “all talk stopped when he spoke”. We also learn that “his authority was taken on any subject”. In short, he is respected and considered to be noble. One of the good-guys on the ranch.

 

 
5) What is Lennie eagerly talking about toward the end of the chapter?

  

He overhears Slim talking about a new litter of puppies, and he is desperate to have one. George promises to ask for him.

 


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