All Quotations from Of Mice and Men in detail, hand-picked by an Outstanding Oxford Graduate teacher of GCSE and IGCSE.
Use this with the mind map to pick out your own quotations for the closed book exams (WJEC and Edexcel IGCSE).
Also see the briefer, easier-to-use list here.

Chapter ONE
The scene is presented as Edenic: ‘deep and green’ ‘warm’ ‘golden’; and full of animals: ‘rabbits’ ‘‘coons’ ‘dogs’ ‘deer’ ‘lizard’ ‘heron’

The first time we see George and Lennie, they’re anonymous workers: two men walked in ‘single file’, ‘both were’ ‘both wore’ George ‘small, quick’, ‘nervously’ ‘sharp, strong’ ‘behind him walked his opposite’; Lennie is: ‘huge’ ‘shapeless’ like a ‘bear’ ‘the follower’ ‘like a horse’ ‘big paw’ ‘imitated George exactly’

George uses a lot of violent language: “bastard bus driver” “God damn” “damn” “Jesus Christ, you’re a crazy bastard!”  “you forget an I tell you ‘em again”

Mmm, Rabbits!
Lennie “I remember about the rabbits, George.”
G “The hell with the rabbits!’ ‘the hell” “crazy bastard”

The Broken Mouse
Lennie on the mouse: “I didn’t kill it.” “I found it dead.”
they elude to “do no bad things like you done in Weed”
Lennie ‘I ain’t gonna say nothin’’

Why do they stick together?
G “you’re a lot of trouble’ ‘I could live so easy’ without you”
‘flaming’ mountains and the ‘water snake’ ‘poor bastard’ 
“blubberin like a baby” “a big guy like you”
“you’ve broke it pettin’ it’ ‘you always killed em.”
Lennie: “I’d pet ‘em, and pretty soon they bit my fingers and I pinched their heads a little and then they was dead”
“live so easy” “no trouble. No mess”
‘Lennie’s face was drawn with terror’ ‘anguished’
George “I want you to stay with me. Trouble with mice is you always kill ‘em”

Yet More Rabbits, and the Dream:
L “Tell me – like you done before… about the rabbits”
G “you get a kick outta that”
“Guys like us that work on ranches are the loneliest guys in the world. … They ain’t got nothing to look ahead to.” G “With us it ain’t like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us.”
L: ‘delightedly’ “because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you.’  ‘Go on now, George.”
G ‘You got it by heart.”
L “live off the fatta the lan’”  George’s feelings are ambiguous “-nuts!’ straight after he warns Lennie, if you “jus’ happen to get in trouble like you always done before, I want you to come right here an’ hide in the brush.” … “but you ain’t gonna get in no trouble, because if you do, I won’t let you tend the rabbits.’

Millions of crazy rabbits:
“red and blue and green rabbits” “millions of ‘em”

Chapter Two
George and Lennie are shown round the ‘bunkhouse’ – ‘little’ ‘little’ ‘few’ ‘personal belongings’ are listed to show how small their world is.
Candy: ‘a tall, stoop-shouldered old man’, and on one arm, ‘no hand.’
Crooks is introduced by Candy as a “nigger” and a “nice fella” with a “crooked back where a horse kicked him.”

When the Boss Enters:
George about Lennie “a good worker” “strong as a bull” and “can do anything” “I ain’t saying he’s bright. He ain’t.” “He can put up a four hundred pound bale” (400lb = 28 stone or 181 kg)
Boss: “What stake you got in this guy?’ “I never seen one guy take so much trouble for another guy.”
George lies: “He’s my cousin””got kicked in the head by a horse when he was a kid.”
The boss is suspicious about why they left Weed. Lennie says the job was done. When he’s gone, he tells Lennie off for speaking (once – Lennie repeated “strong as a bull”)
Lennie asks: “I wasn’t kicked in the head with no horse, was I, George?” “You said I was your cousin.”
George “That was a lie.”

Candy’s dog
‘drag-footed’, ‘grey’, with ‘pale, blind old eyes’ ‘struggled lamely’ and ‘moth-eaten’
Candy: “a guy on a ranch don’t never listen nor he don’t ast no questions”
about his dog: “I had ‘im ever since he was a pup”

Curley enters: glanced ‘coldly’ at them, ‘hands closed into fists’, ‘stiffened’ ‘calculating and pugnacious’ (aggressive)
Lennie ‘squirmed’ ‘nervously’ ‘twisted with embarrassment’ 
Curley “By Christ, he’s gotta talk when he’s spoke to.”

Candy: says Curley is “pretty handy” (with his fists) “picking scraps” “scrappy” “Curley ain’t givin’ nobody a chance” “He just don’t give a damn”
“he’s worse lately”  “got married”
“Curley says he’s keepin’ that hand soft for his wife”

“Wait’ll you see Curley’s wife”

George asks “Purty?”
Candy “she got the eye” – for “Slim” and “Carlson” “I think Curley’s married … a tart”
George says to Lennie to “keep away” from Curley
“if you get in trouble” (go back to the place in Chapter 1) “trouble” is repeated about four times

Enter Curley’s Wife
‘the rectangle of sunshine in the doorway was cut off’; ‘a girl’ ‘full, rouged lips’ ‘wide’ eyes ‘heavily made up’, fingernails ‘red’, ‘red mules’ ‘red ostrich feathers’. Her voice was ‘nasal, brittle’.  ‘her body’ is repeated twice. Lennie is ‘fascinated’ – she smiles ‘archly’ (knowingly)
George “Jesus, what a tramp.”
Lennie “she’s purty”
G “Bet she’d clear out for twenty bucks” “Don’t you even take a look at that bitch” “poison” “I never seen no piece of jail bait worse than her” “she’s a rattrap” he speaks ‘disgustedly’

Lennie: “This ain’t no good place. I wanna get outta here.” “It’s mean here”

Slim enters: ‘the prince of the ranch’ ‘gravity’ ‘profound’ ‘authority’ ‘ageless’ ‘understanding beyond thought’ ‘temple’

George says of Lennie “he ain’t bright” twice “good worker” and “nice”
Slim says: “Ain’t many guys travel around together” “Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other”
George admits it’s “a lot nicer”

Carlson enters: ‘powerful’ ‘big stomached’ asks about Slim’s pups. Slim says he “drowned for of ’em right off. She couldn’t feed that many” About Candy’s dog, Carlson says: “That dog of Candy’s is so God damn old he can’t hardly walk. Stinks like hell, too… why’n’t you getCandy to shoot his old dog and give him one of the pups?”  “no teeth, damn near blind, can’t eat.”

George on Candy: “I hate his guts”

Chapter THREE
Slim on Lennie: “I ain’t never seen such a worker”, “I ain’t never seen such a strong guy”
George “He can’t think of nothing to do himself, but he sure can take orders”
Slim: “seems kinda funny a cuckoo like him and a smart guy like you travellin’ together”
George “He ain’t no cuckoo” “dumb as hell” but “ain’t crazy” “If I was bright … I’d have my own little place” we “was both born in Auburn” “I knowed his Aunt Clara” when she died, “Lennie just come along with me” “Got kinda used to each other” “too dumb to take care of ‘imself” “Too dumb even to know he had a joke played on him” made me seem “smart alongside of him” “he’d do any damn thing I tol’ him. If I tol’ him to walk over a cliff, he’d go” “I’ve beat the hell outta him … but he never lifted a finger”
George speaks like a ‘confession’ 
told Lennie to “jump in” the river “An’ he jumps. Couldn’t swim a stroke… damn near drowned”  “so damn nice to me for pullin’ him out. Clean forgot I told him to jump in.” “I ain’t done nothing like that no more.”
George: after a long time alone, guys “ain’t no good” “mean” “wantin’ to fight all the time”
Slim and George both say that Lennie: “ain’t mean” George: “but he gets in trouble all time” in Weed “he seen this girl in a red dress” Slim asks: “didn’t hurt the girl none?” George: “he just scared her”

George tells Lennie to take the pup back to its mother ‘You’ll kill him”
“There ain’t no more harm in than a kid neither, except he’s so strong”

Carlson: “that dog stinks” “no teeth’ “he ain’t no good” to himself “Why’n’t you shoot him, Candy?”
“he’d never know what hit him”
Candy ‘unhappily’ “I had ‘im too long”
Carlson “It won’t hurt him none” 

‘A shot sounded in the distance’ Candy ‘rolled slowly over and faced the wall and lay silent’

General Chitchat
George “Me an’ Lennie’s gonna roll up a stake”
Whit describes Curley’s Wife as “new kid” then “a looloo” “she got the eye goin’ all the time on everybody”
George asks if there’s been any trouble. Whit says “No… nothing yet. Curley’s got yella-jackets in his drawers” (is jealous, irritable) “pants is just crawlin’ with ants, but they ain’t nothing come of it yet”
George: “She’s gonna make a mess … a bad mess. She’s a jail bait all set on the trigger.” “Ranch with a bunch of guys on it ain’t no place for a girl, specially like her.”

The brothel: ‘Ol’ Susy’s place’, and ‘Clara’s house’ – a “flop” (colloquial euphemism for sex)
George resists because “Me an’ Lennie’s rollin’ up a stake” (he wants to save money.

Candy ‘still faced the wall’
Carlson says “Curley’s handy, God damn handy. Got in the finals for the Golden Gloves” He wants to watch Candy confront Slim but George would rather stay out of trouble.
“Lennie and me got to make a stake”

Lennie returns : “I ain’t done nothing.” “I been good, George” and “I wasn’t hurtin’ ’em none.”
George “If there’s any fightin’, Lennie, you keep out of it.”
Lennie is childlike, asking “why” and saying “I don’t know what for”, he also forgets easily. He asks again about their dream to “get that little place an’ live on the fatta the lan’ – an’ rabbits?”
George tells the story again: ‘Old Candy turned slowly over. His eyes were wide open.’
George uses lovely sensory language: cream so “thick you got to cut it with a knife and take it out with a spoon”.
“We’d belong there. There wouldn’t be no more runnin'”
“When we put in a crop, why, we’d be there to take the crop up. We’d know what come of our planting.”
“It’d be our own, an’ nobody could can us.” We could have a “fren'” to stay over. This ends on a slightly ominous note: 
“you gotta watch out them cats don’t get the little rabbits.”
Lennie reacts violently:
“I’ll break their God damn necks. I’ll… I’ll smash ’em with a stick”

‘When Candy spoke they both jumped as though they had been caught doing somethingreprehensible.’

Candy: “How much they want for a place like that?”
“I ain’t much good with on’y one hand” ‘They give me two hundred an’ fifty dollars ’cause I los’ my hand”
“S’pose I went in with you guys. Tha’s three hunderd an’ fifty” “I ain’t much good, but I could cook and tend the chickens and hoe the garden some.”

George: “If me an’ Lennie work a month an’ don’t spen’ nothing, we’ll have a hunderd bucks. That’d be four fifty. I bet we could swing her for that.”

‘They looked at one another, amazed. The thing they had never really believed in was coming true.’
George’s ‘eyes were full of wonder’ ‘softly’.

Candy: “They’ll can me purty soon. Jus’ as soon as I can’t swamp out no bunk houses they’ll put me on the county.” “When they can me here I wisht somebody’d shot me. But they won’t do nothing like that. I won’t have no place to go, an’ I can’t get no more jobs.”

Candy: “I ought to of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn’t ought to of let no stranger shoot my dog.”

Slim and Curley enter, arguing. Slim has the upper hand.
Carlson says “You let her hang around bunk houses”
‘Curley whirled on Carlson’
‘Carlson laughed. “You God damn punk.”
Candy joined in the attack with joy. “Glove fulla vaseline,” he said disgustedly. Curley glared at him. His eyes slipped on past and he lighted on Lennie.’ ‘like a terrier’ “Come on, ya big bastard”

Lennie ‘looked helplessly at George’; Curley ‘slashed’ ‘smashed’ ‘slugging him in the face’
Lennie: ‘cry of terror’ ‘Blood’ “Make ‘um let me alone, George” ‘the big face was covered in blood’
George yelled “I said get him.” (he has to say it twice)

Curley’s ‘closed fist was lost in Lennie’s big hand.’ ‘flopping little man’ ‘Curley was white and shrunken’ ‘crying’ ‘fist lost in Lennie’s paw’
Slim: “Jesus! He ain’t hardly got no han’ left.” Slim tells Curley to keep quiet or they’ll “tell ever’body” “an’ then will you get the laugh”
Lennie asks “I can still tend the rabbits?” and “I di’nt mean no harm.”

Chapter Four
Crooks‘ bunk is in the ‘harness room’, a ‘shed’ propped against the barn. It’s full of leather-working equipment. Crooks’ apple box contains ‘medicine bottles, both for himself and for the horses’ ‘being a stable buck and a cripple, he was more permanent than the other men’
‘he had books too’ ‘tattered dictionary’ and ‘mauled copy of the California civil code’ ‘large gold-rimmed spectacles’
‘room was swept and fairly neat’ Crooks was a ‘proud and aloof man’ ‘He kept his distance and demanded that others keep theirs’ His eyes ‘seemed to glitter’, ‘thin, pain-tightened lips’
Lennie appears at the door; we see Crooks ‘scowl’
Lennie smiled ‘helplessly’ trying to ‘make friends’
Crooks speaks ‘sharply’ ‘You got no right’ to come in ‘Nobody got any right in here but me’ ‘right’ is repeated semantic field of human rights)
Lennie asks naively: “Why ain’t you wanted?”
Crooks “‘Cause I’m black.”
“They say I stink. Well, I tell you, you all of you stink to me.”
‘Crooks scowled, but Lennie’s disarming smile defeated him.’ Lennie tells him everyone else has left except Candy who’s “sharpening and figuring.” – about the dream.
Crooks: “You’re nuts.” “Crazy as a wedge.” “nuts”
Lennie: “It ain’t no lie.”
Crooks: “I ain’t a southern Negro.” “If I say something, why it’s just a nigger sayin’ it.” “George can tell you screwy things, and it don’t matter. It’s just the talking. 
Crooks tells Lennie (cruelly) what would happen if George left him: “They’ll take ya to the booby hatch. They’ll tie ya up with a collar, like a dog.”

Crooks: “A guy needs somebody—to be near him.” “A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is” “I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick.”

“You’re nuts.” Crooks was scornful. “I seen hunderds of men come by on the road an’ on the ranches, with their bindles on their back an’ that same damn thing in their heads. Hunderds of them. They come, an’ they quit an’ go on; an’ every damn one of ‘em’s got a little piece of land in his head. An’ never a God damn one of ‘em ever gets it. Just like heaven. Ever’body wants a little piece of lan’. I read plenty of books out here. Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land.”

Candy: “This’s the first time I ever been in his [Crooks’] room.” “I planted crops for damn near ever’body in this state, but they wasn’t my crops, and when I harvested ‘em, it wasn’t none of my harvest.
Crooks: “I never seen a guy really do it.” “I seen guys nearly crazy with loneliness for land, but ever’ time a whore house or a blackjack game took what it takes.”

Curley’s Wife Enters (looking for Curley who she knows is at the brothel):

‘Her face was heavily made up. Her lips were slightly parted.’ 
“They left all the weak ones here.” “I know where they all went.”
Lennie ‘watched’ ‘fascinated’ but Candy and Crooks ‘were scowling’
Curley’s Wife says: “You’re all scared of each other, that’s what.” “Think I don’t like to talk to somebody ever’ once in a while? Think I like to stick in that house alla time?”
Candy: “You gotta husban’. You got no call foolin’ aroun’ with other guys, causin’ trouble.”
The girl flared up. “Sure I gotta husban’. You all seen him. Swell guy, ain’t he? Spends all his time sayin’ what he’s gonna do to guy he don’t like, and he don’t like nobody.”
She asks about Curley’s hand and no one will tell her.
“I tell ya I could of went with shows.” “a guy tol’ me he could put me in pitchers . . . .” 
She complains that all she has to do is stand “talkin’ to a bunch of bindle stiffs—a nigger an’ a dum-dum and a lousy ol’ sheep—an’ likin’ it because they ain’t nobody else.” 
Candy strikes back: “You don’t know that we got our own ranch to go to, an’ our own house.” “An’ we got fren’s”
‘Curley’s wife laughed at him. “Baloney.”’

Crooks: “You got no rights comin’ in a colored man’s room.

Curley’s Wife says: “Listen, Nigger,” she said. “You know what I can do to you if you open your trap?” “Well, you keep your place then, Nigger. I could get you strung upon a tree so easy it ain’t even funny.”
Candy:“That bitch didn’t ought to of said that to you.”
Crooks: “What she says is true.” “Lennie’s a nice fella.” When the guys start to leave, he calls out: “’Member what I said about hoein’ and doin’ odd jobs?”
“Yeah,” said Candy. “I remember.”
“Well, jus’ forget it,” said Crooks. “I didn’t mean it. Jus’ foolin’. I wouldn’ 

want to go no place like that.”

Chapter Five
The scene opens quietly:
‘Only Lennie was in the barn’ with ‘a little dead puppy’.
Lennie says: “This ain’t no bad thing like I got to go hide in the brush.”  “George ain’t gonna let me tend no rabbits.” He goes between the ideas that George will and won’t care, will and won’t find out.

Curley’s wife enters in her ‘bright cotton dress’ and ‘mules with the red ostrich feathers’
Lennie “George says I ain’t to have nothing to do with you.”
CW: “if Curley gets tough, you can break his other han’”  “I get awful lonely”, repeats “I get lonely” “I can’t talk to nobody but Curley. Else he gets mad.”
She says about the dog “He was jus’ a mutt.” “The whole country is fulla mutts.”
“Ain’t I got a right to talk to nobody? Whatta they think I am, anyways?”  “I could made somethin’ of myself,” she said darkly. “Maybe I will yet.”  ‘her words tumbled out in a passion of communication’  “If I went” “Hollywood” “I don’t like Curley. He ain’t a nice fella”
“I coulda”
“see how soft it is”
‘Lennie’s other hand closed over her mouth and nose’  “Please don’t do that. George’ll be mad.”
‘muffled screaming’  ‘her eyes were wild with terror’
“I done another bad thing”
‘the meanness and the plannings and the discontent and the ache for attention were all gone from her face’  ‘very pretty and simple’ ‘sweet and young’
Candy: Curly will ‘get ‘im lynched’
George: “I think I knowed from the very start”
“Then it’s all off -” Candy asked sulkily.
George: “All the time he done bad things but he never done one of ‘em mean”
Candy “You god damn tramp” ‘viciously’ “You done it” “You ain’t no good now you lousy tart”  ‘his eyes blinded with tears’
Curley “That big son of a bitch done it”
Slim Curley will want to “shoot ‘im” suppose they “put ‘im in a cage”
Curley “Don’t give ‘im no chance. Shoot for his guts.”

Chapter Six
Similarities to the first chapter: it’s set in the same location and repeats many of the ideas from the first chapter, including the ‘heron’ which ‘swallowed the little snake’. This could represent evil being destroyed, prefiguring Lennie’s death. At the start of Chapter Six the ‘sun had left the valley’ and half way through the weather becomes extremely grim: pathetic fallacyto match the mood.

First, Lennie arrives and is talking to himself:
“George gonna give me hell.”
“If George don’t want me…. I’ll go away. I’ll go away.”

Giant Talking Rabbit:
Lennie’ Aunt Clara tells him off: then a ‘gigantic rabbit’ “You crazy bastard. You ain’t fit to lick the boots of no rabbit… An then what would George think?”  “You ain’t worth a greased jack pin to ram you into hell.”  “He’s gonna beat hell outta you with a stick, that’s what he’s gonna do.”
Lennie argues back: “he ain’t never raised his han’ to me.”   “He gonna leave ya” repeated four times. ‘The rabbit scuttled back into Lennie’s head.’

George Arrives:
Lennie uses euphemistic language “I done another bad thing.”
George “You can’t remember nothing that happens, but you remember ever’ word I say.” 
Lennie says “ain’t you gonna say it?” George says ‘woodenly’ in a ‘monotonous’ voice: “If I was alone I could live so easy” “no mess” They go through the motions – Lennie says (again) that he will “find a cave”.
Lennie said ‘craftily’: “tell me like you done before.”
G “Guys like us got no fambly…”
Lennie starts to talk ‘happily’ and in ‘triumph’ “We got each other”
George talks ‘shakily’

Pathetic fallacy: shadows are ‘bluer’ ‘darkening slopes’: there are ‘crashing’ noises in the brush…
G tries to retell the story: “We gonna…’
Lennie “Go on.”  “Go on.” lots of repetition in short, sharp bursts “I get to tend the rabbits” ‘giggled with happiness’. There’s a very uncomfortable juxtapositon with different moods here. ‘Lennie obeyed him. George looked down the gun.’
“Ever’body gonna be nice to you. Ain’t gonna be no more trouble. Nobody gonna hurt nobody nor steal from ‘em.”  “I never been mad, an’ I ain’t now.”

Lennie begged, ‘Le’s do it now. Le’s get that place now.’
G “Sure, right now. I gotta. We gotta.”

The Shot
‘The crash of the shot rolled up the hills and rolled down again.’
‘George shivered and looked at the gun.’ then he throws it ‘back up on the bank, near the pile of old ashes.’
Slim: “You hadda, George. I swear you hadda.”
Carlson: “Now what hte hell ya suppose is eatin’ them two guys.”