Of Mice and Men – useful quotations

You need to learn some quotes to use in the exam. Oten these quotes are only one word or short phrases
so they will be easy to remember and will impress the examiner. Remember, always put speech marks
around your quotations; e.g. Crooks is described as ‘a proud, aloof man’, which suggests that he keeps
his distance and likes to retain some personal dignity and privacy.

Chapter 1:
George ‘restless eyes and sharp, strong features. Every part of him was defined’
Lennie is George’s ‘opposite’, ‘dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws’
George ‘That’s all you ever can remember is them rabbits.’
Calls Lennie a ‘crazy bastard’ and a ‘good boy’.
‘God, you’re a lots of trouble…I could get a long so easy and so nice if I didn’t have you on my tail.’
‘Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don’t
belong no place...With us it ain’t like that. We got a future.’
Lennie – ‘Because…because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you.’
‘An’ live off the fatta the lan’.’
George – ‘You ain’t gonna get in no trouble, because if you do, I won’t let you tend the rabbits.’
Chapter 2:
Boss – ‘On his head was a soiled brown Stetson hat, and he wore high-heeled boots and spurs to prove he
was not a labouring man.’
“What stake you got in this guy?”
Curley – ‘His glance was at once calculating and pugnacious’ ‘angry little man’
Candy says Curley is ‘pretty handy’ ‘He hates big guys’ ‘Curley’s pants is full of ants.’
Lennie looks to George for ‘instruction’
George – ‘Lennie’s strong and quick and Lennie don’t know no rules.’
Candy on Curley’s wife – ‘she’s got the eye’ ‘a tart’
Many characters refer to Crooks as ‘Stable Buck’ and ‘nigger’ rather than by his name.
G - “Hide in the brush by the river.”
Curley’s wife – ‘She had full, rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes, heavily made up’
Lennie calls her ‘purty’ and George calls her ‘poison’ and ‘jail-bait’
Slim – ‘he moved with a majesty only achieved by royalty and master craftsmen’ ‘the prince of the ranch’
George on Lennie, to Slim ‘We kinda look after each other.’ ‘Hell of a nice fella, but he ain’t bright.’
Chapter 3:
Slim – calls Lennie a ‘cuckoo’ ‘Guy don’t need no sense to be a nice fella.’ ‘He’s jes’ like a kid.’
‘Slim’s opinions were law’
Slim – ‘I wisht somebody’d shoot me if I get old an’ a cripple.’
Crooks’ face is ‘lined with pain’
DREAM (p. 60 – 61) George - ‘we’d have our own place where we belonged and not sleep in no bunk-house’
‘It’d be our own, an’ nobody could can us’
‘This thing they had never really believed in was coming true.’
Candy – ‘I ought to of shot that dog myself.’
Carlson on Curley – ‘god-damn punk’
FIGHT (p. 66 – 67) George says ’Get him, Lennie’
Curley ‘flopping like a fish on a line’ (same simile used for Curley’s wife when she is killed)

’ .’ ‘I don’t like Curley.’ George – ‘We can’t let ‘im get away.’ Curley’s wife on Curley’s hand – ‘He got it comin’ to him’ Chapter 5: ‘Now I won’t get to tend the rabbits’ ‘He rocked himself back and forth in his sorrow’ (like a child) Curley’s wife – ‘I never get to talk to nobody.’ ‘You got no rights comin’ in a coloured man’s room. the poor bastard’d starve…Maybe they’ll lock ‘im up an’ be nice to ‘im. Ever’body wants a little piece of lan’’ ‘It was difficult for Crooks to conceal his pleasure with anger’ ‘I’d come an’ lend a hand. no ego – nothing to arouse either like or dislike. George.’ ‘I could made somethin’ of myself…Maybe I will yet.’ ‘Her body flopped like a fish’ ‘He pawed up the hay. Why. Ain’t gonna be no more trouble.’ ‘This is just a nigger talkin’. So it don’t mean nothing.’ Candy – ‘You god-damn tramp’ ‘you lousy tart’ Chapter 6: George tells Lennie about the dream. I get awful lonely.‘You hadda.’ ‘Coulda been in the movies. Nobody gonna hurt nobody nor steal from ‘em. aloof man. There was no personality. see?’ ‘A guy needs somebody…A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. an’ a busted-back nigger.Chapter 4: Crooks is ‘a proud.’ Curley’s wife on Crooks – ‘I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain’t even funny. He ain’t a nice fella.’ ‘Lennie never done it in meanness.’ Crooks had reduced himself to nothing. He kept his distance and demanded that other people keep theirs’ ‘had accumulated more possessions than he could carry on his back’ ‘I can’t play because I’m black.’ ‘Just like heaven.’ (HEAVEN / UTOPIA) On killing Lennie – ‘I just done it.’ On Lennie ‘Jus’ like a big baby.’ Slim . They say I stink. just before he shoots Lennie – ‘Lennie giggled with happiness’ George – ‘Ever’body gonna be nice to you.

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