Of Mice and Men

by

John Steinbeck

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Aunt Clara Character Analysis

A kindly old woman back in Auburn, who may or may not have been Lennie’s biological aunt. George and Lennie both remember the deceased Aunt Clara fondly, though George seems to think she coddled Lennie too much in his youth. Toward the end of the novel, Aunt Clara appears to Lennie in a vision which seems to represent the worst parts of his conscience and self-doubt, reprimanding him for his “bad” and foolish nature and attempting to make him believe that George is going to abandon him. Aunt Clara’s appearance and the cruel things she says to Lennie complicate George’s remembrances of her, and possibly suggest that there was tension, resentment, and cruelty in the way Aunt Clara treated Lennie.
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Aunt Clara Character Timeline in Of Mice and Men

The timeline below shows where the character Aunt Clara appears in Of Mice and Men. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...mice to play with. George tells Lennie that the woman he’s remembering was Lennie’s own Aunt Clara , and that she stopped giving them to him because he killed them all. Lennie... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...to Lennie, and insists he wants Lennie to stay with him. George adds that Lennie’s Aunt Clara , though dead, wouldn’t like Lennie being on his own. (full context)
Part 3
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...and Lenny need each other. He explains that they were both born in Auburn. Lennie’s Aunt Clara took him in when he was a baby and raised him as her own. After... (full context)
Part 6
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...aloud if he should go find a cave in which to hide. A vision of Aunt Clara , a woman in thick glasses and a large gingham apron, appears before Lennie.  (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Aunt Clara reprimands Lennie for ignoring her advice, doing “bad things,” and pushing George away. Aunt Clara... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Aunt Clara morphs into a giant rabbit. The rabbit tells Lennie he “ain’t fit to lick the... (full context)