Of Mice and Men Important Quotes with Page Numbers
by John Steinbeck

The pages numbers listed below refer to the Penguin Books edition of Of Mice and Men, published in 1993.

Chapter 1, page 7:

“I could get along so easy and so nice if I didn’t have you on my tail.”
- George

George continues to acknowledge that caring for Lennie makes his life more difficult, yet he’s compelled by a sense of duty or moral obligation to keep caring for Lennie. While George’s statement is true, it masks his compassion for Lennie and his loyalty to keeping him alive and safe.

Chapter 3, page 56:

“How long’s it gonna be till we get the little place an’ live off the fatta the lan’ –an tend the rabbits?”
- Lennie

Repeated several times throughout the novel, this quotation illustrates the American Dream of saving up enough money to purchase one’s own property. This dream provides a diversion for George, Lennie and Candy for a period of time, but ultimately is unachievable for the three men. This quotation also illustrates Lennie’s childlike attitude and behavior and his obsession with tending small furry animals, which he eventually harms.

Chapter 3, page 61:

“I ought to of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn’t of ought to let no stranger shoot my dog.”
- Candy

This quotation illustrates Candy’s remorse over allowing someone who did not care about his dog to end its life. It foreshadows the decision George will have to make in the final chapter of the book.

Chapter 6, page 107:

“Now what the hell ya suppose is eating them two guys?”
- Carlson

The final piece of dialogue in the novel, this quotation uttered by Carlson to Curley illustrates the two men’s lack of awareness regarding the dreadful events that have just unfolded. The “two guys” referenced are Slim and George who at the novel’s end glumly walk away from Lennie’s body and the rest of the men. Unlike Carlson, Slim realizes that George has made the difficult decision to kill his best friend in order to prevent the impending brutality he would face. Slim offers George a drink, and the two men who have been emotionally affected by this incident depart, leaving the ignorant men behind to clean up the mess.

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