Key Characters

This video explains and discusses the Key Characters


  • Lennie - A huge man, he acts is like a child.
  • Lennie has tremendous strength.
  • He is also very simple and lacks intelligence.
  • He often survives on instinct and he depends on George for guidance and help, only speaking to Curley when George gives him permission.
  • He quickly forgets things and needs George to remind him.
  • Lennie keeps a dead mouse, a chilling foreshadowing of what is to come.
  • He is animal-like and often described this way, likened to a dog with paws.
  • He dreams of having rabbits, a way of escaping the harsh realities and also showing his simple nature.
  • He doesn’t intend to hurt the mouse, the pup, Curley or Curley’s wife, but he is too rough.


  • George is intelligent and keeps Lennie alive.
  • He looks after Lennie and they work as a team.
  • He constantly says he could do better without Lennie, but never leaves him.
  • He has a dream and does not want it to be shattered.
  • He can be cruel to Lennie, but this is due to frustration and he wants the best for Lennie and for him to stay out of trouble.
  • George dreams of having a house, pigs and luxuries in life.
  • The others get caught up in his dreams, especially Lennie.
  • At the end he takes responsibility for killing Lennie, as he has taken responsibility for him all along.

This video looks an an analysis of the characters of George and Lennie, their relationship and American dream and the end of the novel.


  • Curley A small man, both physically and in the way he behaves.
  • Violent, he was once a boxer.
  • He uses his fists to get what he wants.
  • He takes his anger out on Lennie, thinking he is picking on some one weaker.
  • He is hurt badly by Lennie, who crushes his hand.
  • He is incredibly jealous and rightly suspects his wife is being unfaithful.

Curleys Wife

  • Curley's wife isn’t given a name to show her low status.
  • She is a flirtatious character and has no love for Curley.
  • She is presented as being glamorous and seen as a whore by the men.
  • Pretty, but dangerous for the men to get to know, so they try to avoid her.
  • Fascinating to Lennie, she is another outsider in a world of men.

This video focuses on the characters of Curley's Wife and Curley, their loveless marriage and the impact of her death toward the end of the novel.




  • Crooks is black and abused by the other men as racism was rife in America at this time (1920s)
  • Physically handicapped with a crooked back as a result of an injury when a horse kicked him this further adds to his disadvantages and isolation.
  • Crooks is intelligent and reads a lot.
  • He is protective of his room which is tidy and shows his pride.
  • He is very defensive when Lennie comes in as he is used to being attacked by the white men.
  • He feels superior to Lennie (intellectually) and Curley’s wife (morally).
  • He has no one to love or support him.
  • Very much a realist, he has no great dream.


  • Candy is an old man.
  • His dog is old too and when he becomes useless the others urge him to have it put down (there is a similarity here between the dog and Lennie being ‘put down’ by George at the end)
  • The death of the dog is a tense and sad moment in the novel.


  • Slim is a figure of authority on the ranch.
  • Curley thinks his wife is having an affair with Slim.
  • Knowledgeable.
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