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Of Mice and Men

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Lennie's Cleverness

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Lennie is rarely portrayed as clever in the novella, but in the following excerpts, we see a different side of him.

"Ain't a thing in my pocket," Lennie said cleverly.

But Lennie made an elaborate pantomime of innocence. "What mouse, George? I ain't got no mouse."

Lennie avoided the bait. He had sensed his advantage. "If you don't want me, you only jus' got to say so, and I'll go off in those hills right there- right up in those hills and live by myself. An' I won't get no mice stole from me.

What is Steinbeck's purpose for including these few moments in Chapter l?

A

They reveal Lennie's true ability and let the reader know that he's not as innocent as he leads people to believe. He really does know what he's doing.

B

They help develop the theme of brotherhood as they allow the reader to see how George and Lennie relate to each other.

C

They serve to balance out the constant references to Lennie's lack of intelligence and comparison to animals, showing that he is human and capable of at least some guile, albeit limited.

D

They show that Lennie has the need to be accepted, unlike the animals he is so often compared to, giving him a human identity.

E

Both C and D are correct.