Grew Up… only in a physical sense. Lennie, mentally handicapped, has the strength of a grown man but the mind of a child. His innocence and enthusiasm, rare features among migrant farmers, are an inspiration to his friend George.
Living… in pursuit of his dream. Lennie and his friend George have been trying to get enough money together to start their own farm, where Lennie can tend to his beloved rabbits.
Visiting… the town of Soledad, looking for work. The trouble-prone Lennie got George and him kicked out of their last job. While he always intends well, Lennie’s predilection for petting soft things can be misinterpreted as salacious and innapropriate.
Profession… farmhand. Despite his slow brain, Lennie is one of the best workers in the West. His strength is unmatched—though it is often misused.
Interests… petting rabbits. Lennie enjoys the simple physical pleasure of caressing soft things. He looks forward to the day when he and George get their own place and live off “the fat of land,” where he’ll have his own collection of soft, furry rabbits to pet.
Challenge… to stay out of trouble. Lennie doesn’t operate according to social mores and customs. He doesn’t understand why petting a woman’s soft hair is frowned upon. George constantly warns Lennie against his own instincts. “If I get in any trouble I don’t get to tend them rabbits,” he says.
Personality… sweet and gentle – for the most part. Lennie doesn’t have a cruel bone in his body. His childlike excitement is a little beacon of light in an otherwise dark time. He does have a frightening strength, but he never means to use it to hurt anyone.
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