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Quotes Worth Reading from 'Of Mice and Men'

Amita Ray
Of Mice and Men is the story of two friends, George and Lennie, and their struggle to achieve their dream of owning a piece of land. This novel depicts the gruesome face of reality and the unfortunate fate of their friendship with the death of Lennie. Here are some quotes from the book

Nerdy Bits

Of Mice and Men is one of the most challenged books of the century due to intensity of vulgarity and racism depicted in the story.
Authored by the Nobel Prize winner, John Steinbeck, this is a story of the friendship between two ranch workers, George Milton and Lennie Small, wandering from place to place seeking new job opportunities so that they can ultimately fulfill their dream of owning their own farm.
This book is based on the author's own experiences as a bindlestiff, and was published in the year 1937. From violence to sexism to brothels, this book has got it all! George is a witty but uneducated man, whereas Lennie is a man of great physical strength but limited mental capabilities.
Lennie loves touching soft animals, but ends up smothering them to death. The two flee to Soledad after Lennie is accused of trying to rape a woman in Weed (which he didn't do intentionally), because he was stroking her soft dress and wouldn't let go.
In Soledad, they start working on a ranch where Lennie accidentally kills the owner's daughter-in-law by breaking her neck while stroking her hair. Lennie is killed by George just to save him from an inevitable painful death at the hands of a mob.
The two come across different characters on the ranch, such as Candy, an aging ranch handyman who has lost his hand in an accident, he is apprehensive of his future on the ranch. His old dog was shot by another ranch handyman called Carlson.
Crooks is a bitter but educated black handyman on the ranch. He is isolated on the ranch due to his color, his character depicts the apathy of African-American people on the fields in those days. Curley is the son of the owner of the ranch (known as the Boss). He is almost always itching to fight, a trait that has arisen due to his short stature.
Curley's wife is a flirtatious woman who is fixated on her own beauty. The only role this character has, is to flirt with everyone on the ranch and get killed in the end.
Finally, there is the character of Slim, an intuitive and kind person who is respected by everyone on the ranch. These interesting mix of personalities gives rise to some memorable quotes which we have listed here.

Quotes by Slim

✿ "Maybe everybody in the whole damn world is scared of each other."

✿ "Guy don't need no sense to be a nice fella. Seems to me sometimes it jus' works the other way around. Take a real smart guy and he ain't hardly ever a nice fella."
✿ "Sure, he's jes like a kid. There ain't no more harm in him than a kid neither, except he's so strong."

✿ "I can tell a mean guy from a mile off."

✿ "She slang her pups last night, nine of 'em. I drowned four of 'em right off. She couldn't feed that many."

Quotes by Lennie Small

✿ "We could live offa the fatta the lan'."

✿ "I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that's why."

✿ "I can still tend the rabbits, George? I didn't mean no harm, George."
✿ "For two bits I'd shove out of here. If we can get jus' a few dollars I the poke we'll shove off and go up the American River and pan gold. We can make maybe a couple of dollars a day there, and we might hit a pocket."

✿ "You ain't gonna leave me, are ya' George? I know you ain't!"
✿ "I don't know why I can't keep it. It ain't nobody's mouse. I didn't steal it. I found it lyin' right beside the road."

Quotes by George Milton

✿ "Trouble with mice is you always kill 'em."

✿ "You never oughta drink water when it ain't running."

✿ "I should of knew, I guess maybe way back in my head I did."

✿ "No, Lennie, I ain't mad. I never been mad, and I ain' now. That's a thing I want ya to know."
✿ "I ain't got no people. I seen the guys that go around on the ranches alone. That ain't no good. They don't have no fun. After a long time they get mean. They get wantin' to fight all the time. . . 'Course Lennie's a God damn nuisance most of the time, but you get used to goin' around with a guy an' you can't get rid of him."
✿ "We gotta keep it till we get a stake. We can't help it, Lennie. We'll get out jus' as soon as we can. I don't like it no better than you do."

✿ "Lennie, if you jus' happen to get in trouble like you always done before, I want you to come right here an' hide in the brush... Hide in the brush till I come for you."
✿ "God, you're a lot of trouble, I could get along so easy and so nice if I didn't have you on my tail. I could live so easy and maybe have a girl."

✿ "...If I was bright, if I was even a little bit smart, I'd have my own little place, an' I'd be bringin' in my own crops, 'stead of doin' all the work and not getting what comes up outa the ground."

Quotes by Candy

✿ "Guys like us got nothing to look ahead to."

✿ "I ought to of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn't ought to of let no stranger shoot my dog."

✿ "We know what we got, and we don't care whether you know it or not."
✿ "Maybe you just better go along an' roll your hoop. We ain't got nothing to say to you at all."

✿ "I'd make a will an' leave my share to you guys in case I kick off, 'cause I ain't got no relatives or nothing..."
✿ "Well-hell! I had him so long. Had him since he was a pup. I herded sheep with him. You wouldn't think it to look at him now, but he was the best damn sheep dog I ever seen."

✿ "A guy on a ranch don't never listen nor he don't ast no questions."
✿ "You seen what they done to my dog tonight? They says he wasn't no good to himself nor nobody else. When they can me here I wisht somebody'd shoot me. But they won't do nothing like that. I won't have no place to go, an' I can't get no more jobs."

Quotes by Crooks

✿ "They come, an' they quit an' go on; an' every damn one of 'em's got a little piece of land in his head. An' never a God damn one of 'em ever gets it."

✿ "I ain't sure I want you in here no more. A colored man got to have some rights even if he don't like 'em."
✿ "A guy needs somebody-to be near him. A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. Don't make no difference who the guy is, long's he's with you."

✿ "S'pose you didn't have nobody. S'pose you couldn't go into the bunk house and play rummy 'cause you was black. How'd you like that?"
✿ "Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land. It's just in their head. They're all the time talkin' about it, but it's jus' in their head"

✿ "Come on in and set a while, long as you won't get out and leave me alone, you might as well set down." His tone was a little more friendly."

Quotes by Other Characters

✿ "Whyn't you get Candy to shoot his old dog and give him one of the pups to raise up? I can smell that dog a mile away. Got no teeth, damn near blind, can't eat. Candy feeds him milk. He can't chew nothing else"
✿ "The way I'd shoot him, he wouldn't feel nothing. I'd put the gun right there. Right back of the head. He wouldn't even quiver."
The Boss
✿ "Well, I never seen one guy take so much trouble for another guy. I just like to know what your interest is."

Curley's Wife
✿ "You're all scared of each other, that's what. Ever' one of you's scared the rest is goin' to get something on you."

Quotes by the Author

✿ "As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment."

✿ "His ear heard more than what was said to him, and his slow speech had overtones not of thought, but of understanding beyond thought."