George's companion. Lennie is huge and immensely strong, but a mental disability makes him entirely dependent on George, especially after his Aunt Clara dies (before the novella begins). Lennie is the most innocent, gentle, and kind character in the novel, and his sole dream is to tend rabbits and live off the "fatta the lan'" on a farm that he and George will own. In the end, Lennie and his innocent dream fall prey to Curley's revenge and George's mercy, two powerful adult emotions beyond Lennie's control or comprehension.
The Of Mice and Men quotes below are all either spoken by Lennie Small or refer to Lennie Small. 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: Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Books edition of Of Mice and Men published in 1993.).
Part 1 Quotes
Slowly, like a terrier who doesn't want to bring a ball to its master, Lennie approached, drew back, approached again.
Well, we ain't got any,' George exploded. 'Whatever we ain't got, that's what you want. God a'mighty, if I was alone I could live so easy. I could go get a job an' work, an' no trouble....An' whatta I got,' George went on furiously. 'I got you! You can't keep a job and you lose me ever' job I get. Jus' keep me shovin' all over the country all the time. An' that ain't the worst. You get in trouble. You do bad things and I got to get you out.
Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place....With us it ain't like that. We got a future.... An' why? Because...because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that's why.
Part 2 Quotes
"Ain't many guys travel around together," he mused. "I don't know why. Maybe ever'body in the whole damn world is scared of each other."
Part 3 Quotes
"We could live offa the fatta the lan'."
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Part 5 Quotes
Why can't I talk to you? I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely.
He pawed up the hay until it partly covered her.
Part 6 Quotes
No, Lennie. I ain't mad. I never been mad, an' I ain't now. That's a thing I want ya to know.
The timeline below shows where the character Lennie Small appears in Of Mice and Men. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...riverbed of the Salinas River a few miles south of Soledad, California. George Milton and Lennie Small, two men dressed in denim, are walking along a path on the riverbed. George,... (full context)
...George complains about the bus driver who dropped them off too far from the ranch, Lennie asks where they're going. George reminds Lennie about their plans, but stops when he notices... (full context)
...son, enters, looking for his father. Curley, who wears fancy boots, quickly starts picking on Lennie, who refuses to speak. After Curley leaves, Candy says Curley is a lightweight boxer and... (full context)
...for suspecting him, and all the men mock Curley for being so insecure. Curley thinks Lennie is also laughing at him, though Lennie was just smiling while thinking of tending rabbits... (full context)