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Free Study Guide-Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck-Free Booknotes
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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS

SETTING

This book is set in two places. It starts beside a stream, close to the Salinas River, a few miles South of Soledad. It then moves to a ranch, where the major part of the story is set. At the end of the novel, the setting comes back to where it started.

George and Lennie are introduced by the stream. They are on their way to a near-by ranch. The surrounding land is thick in vegetation and has its own wild life. Men frequent it, as there are ash piles made by many fires and the limbs of the sycamore tree have been smoothed by the many men who have sat on it.

The ranch, where the major part of the story takes place, appears isolated and lonely. It includes a ranch house, a bunkhouse where the ranch workers live, a barn, and a harness-room off the barn.

CHARACTER LIST

Major Characters

George

The protagonist and main character of the book. He is a caring, compassionate, and understanding human being who dreams of owning his own piece of land.

Lennie

The obedient friend of George. He has a child’s mind and a giant’s body. It is these contrasting qualities that cause him problems.


Old Candy

One of the lonely ranch workers. He is a cripple, working as a ‘Swamper’.

Crooks

A black ranch hand. He is sensible and neat, with a mind of his own. He is a lonely character, who is discriminated against, due to his race.

Slim

A ranch worker with leadership qualities. He commands respect from all on the ranch.

Curley

The boss’s son who is a light weight boxer. He picks fights with everybody on the ranch.

Curley’s wife

The only woman on the ranch. She is very flirtatious.

Minor Characters

Carlson

A brutal man. He objects to Candy keeping his old dog.

Whit

A ranch worker. He is sent to town to fetch the Sheriff after Curley’s wife is murdered.

The Boss

A ‘mice fella’ (in Candy’s words). He is more concerned about his work on the ranch than anyone else.

Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version | Barron's Booknotes


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Free Study Guide-Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck-Free Plot Summary
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