Of Mice and Men

by

John Steinbeck

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Carlson Character Analysis

A laborer on the ranch. Carlson is an aggressive man who owns a Luger pistol which he prizes and cherishes. He leaps at any opportunity to use his gun, including when he shoots Candy’s old dog and offers to try to shoot Lennie after he kills Curley’s wife. A dimwitted man with little empathy or capacity for self-reflection, Carlson often acts as a flunkey to Curley.

Carlson Quotes in Of Mice and Men

The Of Mice and Men quotes below are all either spoken by Carlson or refer to Carlson. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Broken Plans Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of Of Mice and Men published in 1993.
Part 3 Quotes

“Carl's right, Candy. That dog ain't no good to himself. I wisht somebody'd shoot me if I got old an' a cripple.”

Related Characters: Slim (speaker), Candy, Carlson
Related Symbols: Candy’s Dog
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

“Maybe it’d hurt him,” [Candy] suggested. “I don’t mind takin’ care of him.”

Carlson said, “The way I’d shoot him, he wouldn’t feel nothing. I’d put the gun right there.” He pointed with his toe. “Right back of the head. He wouldn’t even quiver.”

Related Characters: Candy (speaker), Carlson (speaker)
Related Symbols: Candy’s Dog
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire Of Mice and Men LitChart as a printable PDF.
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Carlson Character Timeline in Of Mice and Men

The timeline below shows where the character Carlson appears in Of Mice and Men. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...other words, she’s flirtatious, and has been making eyes at Slim and a worker named Carlson ever since arriving on the ranch. (full context)
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...big stomach comes into the bunk house. Slim introduces him to George and Lennie as Carlson. Carlson asks Slim whether his dog had her litter of puppies yet, and Slim says... (full context)
Part 3
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Candy comes into the bunk house, his old dog trailing behind him. Carlson, another laborer, comes into the bunk house, lamenting at having lost at horseshoes to the... (full context)
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Lennie and Carlson come into the bunk house together. Lennie gets into bed, and Carlson begins cleaning his... (full context)
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
Slim, Curley, Carlson, and Whit all enter the bunk house. Slim and Curley are arguing—Slim says he’s sick... (full context)
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
...crying in pain, but Lennie doesn’t let go until George tells him to. Slim and Carlson stand over Curley, and remark that they need to get him to a doctor—it hardly... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Carlson takes Curley away to go to the doctor in town. George tells Lennie to wash... (full context)
Part 5
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
...Curley is furious, and vows to kill “the big son-of-a-bitch” before running from the barn. Carlson runs out to get his pistol. (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
...be “no good” to keep Lennie in a cage for the rest of his life. Carlson runs back into the barn, shouting that Lennie has stolen his Luger. Curley suggests they... (full context)
Part 6
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
...the “little place” they’ll soon have in a gentle voice. Behind Lennie’s back, George pulls Carlson’s pistol out of his own pocket and cocks it. He stares at the base of... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
...getting him. Slim sits down beside George and, seeing his distress, tries to comfort him. Carlson asks George if Lennie had his gun, and George says that he did. Carlson asks... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
...what he had to do. He gingerly leads George back through the brush. Curley and Carlson stare after them as they go, and Carlson asks what in the hell could be... (full context)