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Barron's Booknotes-Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck
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Meanwhile, a new character has come into the bunkhouse-Whit. Whit makes only two brief appearances in the book, both during this chapter. In one appearance he reads a letter written by one of the former ranch hands to a popular western magazine. In the other appearance he tells George about the way to spend a Saturday night in town, in the right whorehouse.

What is Whit's role in the book? He seems to have two. One, he shows us what the life of a ranch hand is like when he is not working. He reads cheap magazines and spends his money on Saturday night entertainment. Whit's excitement in describing both pastimes tells us a little about the emptiness of ranch life.

Whit's second role is to take our minds off of the killing of the dog. Through Whit, Steinbeck seems to be saying that death is a natural part of life, even if man causes it. He doesn't want us to feel too emotional about the event.

Meanwhile, a more interesting situation is developing. Curley has come into the bunk house looking once again for his wife. He suspects that she may be in the barn with Slim, and is going looking for him. You've probably seen situations like this before. Someone is out to pick a fight, and everyone wants to go watch it. All of the men rush out, except for George, Lennie, and Candy.

George and Lennie start talking. George warns Lennie to stay away from Curley's wife. All women are trouble, he says, and the only safe woman is a whore. Since we're getting used to Steinbeck's foreshadowing, we're starting to suspect that warnings like these are to be taken seriously. They are hints of bad things to come.



Lennie is getting a little worried too and asks George to reassure him about the dream farm again. George starts off without hesitating this time. This version of the dream is similar to the one we heard last night, but it is not exactly the same. Everything seems even more real now. George even names the kind of trees and crops they will plant, the kinds of animals they will have, and the kind of house they will live in. The vision sounds so real that Candy, who is listening, asks George, "You know where's a place like that?" It turns out that George does indeed have a real place in mind. The ranch costs only $600, but it might as well cost $6000 as far as George and Lennie are concerned. They don't have any money. Candy offers to put up more than half of the money. He has $300 in the bank, most of it received when his hand was cut off. He even agrees to leave his share to the other two men when he dies. All Candy wants is security in his old age and a place of his own for a little while.

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Barron's Booknotes-Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck
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