Home>Steinbeck in the Schools>Student Resources>Of Mice and Men>Of Mice and also Men - character Summaries

You are watching: Who is the antagonist in of mice and men

Setting| personality Census| Plot Synopsis| critical ReceptionCultural referrals | an essential Terms and Concepts



George, a ranch hand, is primarily Lennie"s caretaker. The is normally great natured, however angers easily, specifically if someone is threaten Lennie. George seeks the American Dream in the form of a item of land wherein he and Lennie have the right to live without having to answer come anyone. Though George"s life is unduly complex by his having actually to treatment for Lennie, that accepts his responsibility.


Described together a big man with "wide slopping shoulders," the text means that Lennie is holy ghost handicapped (2). Lennie relies fully on George because that his care. Because of his childlike nature, Lennie, despite he has no intention of hurting anyone, at times inadvertently harms animals and people due to the fact that of his huge size and also strength.


One the the earliest workers on the ranch, Candy shed one of his hands in a occupational related accident. Candy"s biggest fear is that as soon as he outlives his usefulness he will be kicked off the ranch and also have no place to go. After hearing about the piece of land the George and also Lennie setup to buy, Candy offers to provide them all of the money in his save if they will let that live with them. When things carry out not go as planned, having actually a piece of land wherein he could not be kicked turn off momentarily offered Candy something because that which come hope.

Candy"s Dog

A former sheep dog, Candy"s dog is described as being incredibly old with no this and progressed rheumatism. Told the he is being cruel for maintaining his dog alive, Candy enables Carlson to take his dog outside the bunk house and shoot him in the ago of the head. Besides being comment on the position of the old and also infirm in society, the fatality of Candy"s dog is a far-reaching foreshadowing the other events that at some point transpire in the story.



Curley is one of the main antagonists in the novel.As the Boss"s son, Curley treats the ranch hand in a an extremely condescending manner. A quick man, Curley is angered and also provoked by those who take place to it is in bigger than him, as though he has actually something to prove. Newly married, the likes to brag around wearing a glove complete of Vaseline to store his hand soft for his wife. The is disliked through nearly all of the workers, that poke fun at him behind his back. Curley purposely assaults Lennie since he is jealousy of Lennie"s substantial stature, but he ends up having his hand crushed ~ Lennie squeezes it also hard. To conserve himself the embarrassment the his humiliating defeat, Curley agrees to hide the truth and says the he gained his hand captured in a machine.

Curley"s Wife

The just female character that physically appears in the story, the unnamed mam of Curley is viewed with lightly veiled disgust by the workers. Despite only gift married a few weeks, she currently has what the workers speak to "the eye" and they describe her as a "tart" (26). The is implied that she constantly looks for out male fist to relax her loneliness. Like the males who are plagued by loneliness in the story, Curley"s wife is both lonely and regretful and says that she can have remained in movies or magazines if she had actually not married Curley. It appears that she just married Curley to escape she mother, who was domineering and also did no let her go to Hollywood.


A quiet, observant man, Slim is shown as wise and the true authority figure on the ranch. While the various other workers listen to the boss and also Curley due to the fact that they have actually to, they hear to Slim because they respect him as a worker and as a person. He tenderness convinces Candy that it is time to offer up his dog, and also may be partially responsible because that George"s activity at the finish of the story. Slim is the just character ~ above the ranch who understands the bond in between Lennie and also George.


Crooks has actually two things working against him in Steinbeck"s story; that is the just African-American top top the ranch and he has actually a deformed spine. As result of his race and physical deformity, Crooks lives by himself in the ranch"s barn. He is described as proud and aloof, however readers acquire the feeling that Crooks acts aloof due to aching loneliness. Crooks is covertly happy once Candy and also Lennie come to visit him, and even allows himself to momentarily think that he as well will live on their small piece of land. After an altercation v Curley"s wife, Crooks realizes that even if George, Lennie, and also Candy let the live through them, the would never really occupational out the way he wanted since of his extreme ostracism.


The ranch hand who says the death of Candy"s dog, Carlson comes across as a bitter and self-centered man. He expresses society"s see that the old and also "crippled" are of no practical use and also can conveniently be eliminated.

Aunt Clara

While Aunt Clara is not a physics character in the story, she serves as a an effective memory because that both George and Lennie. She take it Lennie in together a child, and on her deathbed asked George to look ~ Lennie for her.

The Boss

The boss plays a an extremely minor part in the story, only appearing in the very first part the the publication to interrogate George and Lennie as soon as they arrive because that their an initial day the work.

See more: How Long Is A Plane Ride To China By Plane, How Long Does It Take To Get To China By Plane

That is curious about George always answering because that Lennie and thinks that something suspiciously is going on.


A ranch hand who had actually a minor component in the story.

Setting| character Census| Plot Synopsis| an essential ReceptionCultural recommendations | an essential Terms and Concepts