Of Mice and Men Chapter 1 (2023)

Chapter 1 serves as an exposition to John Steinbeck's novel,of mice and men(1937). It defines the two main characters, George and Lennie, as well as the setting. It covers where they came from and where they are going, while also explaining their desires and struggles up to that point. The themes of the novel begin to emerge as Steinbeck ascertains and even anticipates future events.

Of Mice and Men Chapter 1 (1)

Overview -of mice and menChapter 1
Brief summary of Chapter 1
  • George and Lennie, American farmhands in the mid-1930s, dismountto the entranceto your new destination. George is small and smart while Lennie is tall and good-natured.
  • Lennie, who is mentally handicapped, can't remember where they are going or why.
  • George explains to Lennie how they had to run away from their last job because Lennie wanted to stroke a woman's skirt and the men thought Lennie was trying to rape her.
  • Lennie is obsessed with small furry animals, but he is so strong that he accidentally kills them.
  • They camp for the night, where George tells the story of his dreams. One day they hope for a lot of money, a ranch and a simple life.
Chapter 1 CharactersGeorge Milton and Lennie Small
Stage in Chapter 1 A clearing in rural Californiathis streetRanch
Style No. Chapter 1Third person narrator
Literary resources and themes in Chapter 1Omens, loss of control, isolation, prevented dreams

Of Mice and Men Chapter 1 Summary

Jörg Miltonmilittle lennieWalk down a long, hot road south of Soledad, California. Both are guest workers looking for a new job. George is smart and rude and frequently curses, while Lennie is polite and mentally dull. Lennie can't remember anything that doesn't involve little furry animals that he loves.

Lennie's memory is so bad that he doesn't remember what he and George are doing.this street. Frustrated, George tells her they are a quarter mile from a new ranch they will be working at. They came here by bus after narrowly escaping their last job, a ranch up north called Weed. There Lennie wouldn't let go of a woman's skirt, it was soft and something he wanted to hug. The men there, who did not know Lennie as George, thought he was trying to rape the woman and drove her out of town.

Lennie frustrated George then and still frustrates him now. As George desperately tries to explain to Lennie what's going on, George notices that Lennie is distracted. He correctly assumes that Lennie has a mouse in his pocket that George is asking of him. Though Lennie is reluctant, he acquiesces and reveals the dead mouse he was petting. Lennie insists he found him dead, although this seems unlikely given that Lennie is known to have accidentally killed his pet rats. Clara, Lennie's aunt, would feed him mice, and Lennie would always kill them by petting them very hard. George throws the mouse as far as he can, which later happens again when he discovers that Lennie has another dead mouse.

Although George is always yelling at Lennie and complaining that Lennie is the reason he can't settle down and maybe have a girl, it's clear that George cares about Lennie. No one understands Lennie but George, and George is Lennie's only friend. Lennie mischievously takes advantage of George's friendship, saying that he could live alone in a cave where he would no longer be George's problem. George tells her to shut up and that they will stay together.

As it gets dark, the two set up camp for dinner: beans. As they eat, Lennie asks George to tell him the story about the rabbits. George resists, especially as this is the only thing Lennie seems to remember by heart. However, George agrees and tells Lennie his dream: that one day they will save money to buy their own land. They will set up an accountable farm, and there Lennie will have a cage for rabbits of all kinds and colors, even colors like green, which don't exist.

When it comes to his future fortune, George refers to his "Jack". Jack is slang for money.

(Video) OMAM Chapter 1

Of Mice and Men Chapter 1 (2)Coward. 1 - Lennie and George dream of having their own land and working on a farm is one step towards making that dream come true.

Mice and Men Chapter 1 Review

You can check chapter 1 ofof mice and menin many respects not discussed here, but these are three salient categories for analytical interpretation.

Chapter 1 as exposition

The episode begins with George and Lennie interacting harmlessly while Lennie drinks stale water. In this interaction, George chides Lennie for being a fool as drinking standing water is dangerous. From the start, the reader sees their dynamic: that George is the smarter leader looking out for Lennie. This also reveals George's bitter personality, which continues when he first complains to Lennie that the bus driver dropped them off four miles from the ranch.

Steinbeck cleverly uses Lennie's poor memory as an excuse for George to update the audience. George can tell the audience everything they need to know while doing it for a believable reason.

By the end of the first chapter, the reader knows the following:

  • ÖhistorycontextIt is south of Soledad. Contextual clues like this place the story in California.

  • Ömain charactersThey are George and Lennie. They introduce us to their personalities and interpersonal dynamics.

  • Building ground:After a misunderstanding at their last job, George and Lennie head off to try again at a different ranch.

  • The problem:Lennie's personality has gotten her in trouble before and it could happen again.

  • Goals:George and Lennie dream of having their own country, their own destiny.

    (Video) Of Mice and Men Ch 1 - Grossen

The period is not explicitly stated, which is not surprising as it coincides with the time the book was written (1937). Even today, when a writer plays his story into the "present," he must not mention it.

Chapter 1 as the scene of a tragedy:Obviously, the reader of Chapter 1 cannot know that the story is tragic, but Steinbeck prepares the reader to experience the tragedy. This is mainly done in two ways:

  • Set cute characters.. George and Lennie are innocent guys who have lost their luck. Your friendship is wonderful.
  • It fails a dream.A good tragedy causes the characters to lose a piece of paradise. In chapter 1 we expect the protagonists to realize their dream of owning a farm. They are not leaving.

When these things are clarified, Steinbeck can continue to tell his tragic fate.

Style No. Chapter 1

History has oneThird person narrator, meaning the narrator refers to things ashe she shemiIt is.This narrative mode is less personal than first person, but helps portray the reader as distant and out of control of the story. That fits thematically, because George and Lennie often don't feel in control of their lives either.

The third-person narrator also serves to make George and Lenniemain character sets. The first-person narration would require George or Lennie to narrate the story, giving that character additional focus.

Speaking of narrative, Steinbeck makes the interesting decision to omit the first two paragraphs. While the rest of the story is told in the past tense, the first two paragraphs are told in the present tense. You're taught not to do that these days, but Steinbeck does it very deliberately, even adding a space between the two narratives.

Whatever Steinbeck's reason for doing this, it serves to set the mood for the opening scene. The trail is vibrant and green, remarkably full of wildlife. The narrator also refers to this as a well-tempered path on which many have rested and camped. One wonders how those trips ended and if George and Lennie will follow suit.old as dirtStory.

As a final note on Steinbeck's style, theDialogue mimics language. Characters often use "ya" for "you," and verbs ending in -ing are often truncated, resulting in words like "puttin." This helps capture a character's unique voice and accent.

Of Mice and Men Chapter 1 (3)Coward. 2 - Farmers George and Lennie have a country accent. This represents the realistic agricultural context of the Great Depression.

Literary resources and themes in Chapter 1

Steinbeck OmenLennies Tod.

(Video) Of Mice and Men | Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis | John Steinbeck

predictIn this case, an author gives a clever hint about the future of the story. This can be done in dialogue or in narration.

The omen is better recognized on the second reading. This is because you can identify what you already know is going to happen.

Steinbeck announces Lennie's death with this dialogue from George:

Jesus Christ, someone would shoot you for a coyote if you were alone. No, you stay with me."

Of course, Lennie ends up getting shot. This dialogue is also ironic because George says that Lennie should stay with him to be safe if it's George who shoots and kills Lennie. It is true that this is an act of mercy (if any), not malice.

This chapter also sets the course of Lennie's death. George tells Lennie to meet him at this camp if he gets lost and gets into trouble. Lennie arrives at this camp at the end of the novel being pursued and George finds him there as promised. This is a classic setup and payment example.

(Video) Of Mice and Men Chapter 1

As with any good book, themes emerge very quickly.A notable theme is the lack of control humans have over their worlds..Lennie has no control over his power and hurts and kills the things he loves. George feels an obligation to help Lennie, even if it prevents him from doing what he dreams of.

The mice in Chapter 1 symbolize Lennie's inability to control himself. Be aware of how other animals can symbolize relationships of control.

This topic is closely related to theBlocked Dreams Theme.Unfortunately, as the reader begins to see, dreams are more hampered by the things that cannot be changed.

Of Mice and Men Chapter 1 (4)Coward. 3 - George and Lennie are hopeful but cautious when it comes to pursuing their dreams.

Of Mice and Men Chapter 1 Phrases

Both quotes appear near the end of the first chapter as George tells his story about his and Lennie's future.

... because I made you take care of me and you made me take care of you..."

This Lennie quote emphasizes that Lennie and George are special because of their symbiotic relationship. Their futures are linked, meaning that if they succeed, they will both succeed and if they fail, they will both fail.

Of course we will,” George said sleepily. Red, blue and green bunnies, Lennie. millions of them."

George is tired and just wants Lennie to shut up. However, given George's bored and sarcastic tone throughout his story, one wonders if George believes his dream is possible. Maybe he names rabbit colors that don't exist because he's afraid that there won't be a happy ending for the couple either.

George is far more pessimistic than the childish, hopeful Lennie, but it's worth noting that George has good reason to be skeptical. George and Lennie are not meeting each other for the first time, and indeed the reader begins towards the end of their sad story.

Of Mice and Man, Chapter 1 - Main Results

  • Chapter 1 serves as an exposition forof mice and men,Structure of the main characters, George and Lennie.
  • In the chapter, George and Lennie head to a new ranch after running away from the last one.
  • Lennie loves small furry animals but accidentally kills them with his power. He is hopeful about the future while George is more realistic and pessimistic.
  • Themes such as "humans have no control over their world" and "frustrated dreams" emerge.
  • George tells Lennie to meet him at camp in case anything goes wrong. This sets the stage for Lennie's death, which is also hinted at in the chapter.
(Video) Of Mice and Men Chapter 1 Audio read by Mr. Ryan Morris


  1. Abb. 3 -of mice and men(https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Of_Mice_and_Men_img_2255_48135316496_o_(48981563281).jpg) by Ser Amantio di Nicolao (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ser_Amantio_di_Nicolao) is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)


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