Of Mice and Men Summary: Plot, Characters And Themes

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Of Mice and Men tells the story of two migrant workers, George Milton and Lennie Small, who are searching for work in the Salinas Valley of California during the Great Depression. George is a small, intelligent man while Lennie is a large, simple-minded man. The two men are companions and friends, and they share the dream of one day owning their own farm where they can live and work together in peace.

However, their dream is threatened when Lennie gets into trouble with a local ranch owner’s daughter. George is forced to protect his friend by killing him, even though it means giving up their shared dream. In the end, Of Mice and Men is a tragedy not just because dreams are unfulfilled, but also because the characters are ultimately powerless against the forces of nature and society. Of Mice and Men Summary: Plot, Characters And Themes.

Of Mice and Men Plot Summary

George and Lennie are migrant workers who have been traveling together for some time. They arrive at a ranch near Soledad, California to find work. The men are met by the ranch’s owner, Curley, who tells them that there is no work available.

The men meet up with Slim, the foreman, and Candy, an old man who works on the ranch. Slim tells the men that there may be a job for them if they can prove themselves to be good workers.

George and Lennie begin working on the ranch and quickly become friends with the other workers. One night, Lennie goes into the bunkhouse to pet a puppy that belongs to Curley’s wife. She scolds him and tells him to stay away from her.

Later, Lennie meets up with Curley’s wife again and she tells him about her dreams of becoming a movie star. She flirts with Lennie and asks him to feel her soft hair. When Curley’s wife tries to kiss Lennie, he panics and accidentally breaks her neck.


George knows that if anyone finds out about the incident, they will be lynched. He tells Slim and Candy what happened and they agree to help cover up the crime. They put the body in a ditch and George shoots Lennie to spare him from a painful death.

In the end,Of Mice and Men is a story about unfulfilled dreams and the dark side of human nature. The characters are powerless against the forces of society and nature, which ultimately leads to tragedy.

Of Mice and Men Characters

Of Mice and Men Characters below: Let’s have a quick look

  • George: A small, wiry man with sharp features. He is ” quick as a cat” in his reactions and movements, and has been known to shoot a snake in the back while it is crawling away. He is Lennie’s best friend and protector, and tries to keep him out of trouble despite Lennie’s penchant for getting into scrapes.
  • Lennie: A huge, lumbering man with a childlike innocence. He is mentally disabled, and depends on George to take care of him. Lennie loves animals, and often talks about having a farm where he can raise rabbits. His innocent childlike behaviour belies a terrifying strength, which gets him into trouble when he accidentally kills mice and, later, humans.
  • Candy: An old ranch hand who has lost his right hand in an accident. He is worried about his future on the ranch, and so joins forces with George and Lennie to buy a farm of their own.
  • Curley: The boss’ son, who is a small, mean-spirited man with a quick temper. He is jealous of anyone who gets attention from his beautiful wife, and often picks fights with the other men on the ranch.
  • Curley’s wife: A beautiful but lonely woman, stuck on a ranch where she is not allowed to talk to anyone or do anything. She flirts with the men on the ranch, and ends up causing Lennie’s downfall.
  • Slim: The smartest and most respected man on the ranch. He is a natural leader, and the other men often look to him for advice.
  • Carlson: A gruff ranch hand who doesn’t like Candy’s dog. He eventually shoots the dog himself, much to Candy’s dismay.
  • Boss: The owner of the ranch where George and Lennie work. He is a fair but strict man, who expects his workers to do their jobs and not cause any trouble.
  • Crooks: The ranch’s stable hand, who is black. He is isolated from the other men because of the colour of his skin, and lives in his own little world in the stable.
  • Whit: One of the ranch hands, who is friends with Slim. He is a friendly guy who likes to play cards and shoot the breeze with his buddies.
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