Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!

English Literature


The story begins when George and Lennie prepare to arrive at a ranch to work - and ends in tragedy [tragedy: A type of drama in which characters undergo suffering or calamity and which usually ends with a death. A sad or catastrophic event causing suffering or death. ] just four days later. The story is told in the third person [third person: The verb form that indicates the action is being done neither by the speaker ('I') or by the person being addressed ('you') but by a third person - a 'he', 'she' or 'they'. ], so we are provided with a clear, unbiased view of all the characters.

Chapter 1

George and Lennie camp in the brush by a pool, the night before starting new jobs as ranch hands.

George finds Lennie stroking a dead mouse in his pocket. He complains that caring for Lennie prevents him from living a freer life. We find out that Lennie's innocent petting of a girl's dress led to them losing their last jobs in Weed.

However, when they talk about their dream of getting a piece of land together, we know they really depend on each other.

Back to Of Mice and Men index

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.