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George put out his hand and grabbed Slim. "Wait a minute," he shouted. He cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled, "'Get 'im, Lennie!" ... Curley's fist was swinging when Lennie reached for it. The next minute Curley was flopping like a fish on a line, and his closed fist was lost in Lennie's big hand. George ran down the room. "Leggo of him, Lennie. Let go."

Why does George react like this when Slim offers to stop Curley from beating on Lennie ?


George thinks Slim will hurt Curley more than Lennie will and he does not want to inflict too much pain on Curley. However, when he sees that Lennie could likely kill Curley, he realizes his mistake and tells Lennie to let him go.


George wants Lennie to stick up for himself so Curley will leave him alone once and for all. He also hates Curley and is angry about Curley's relentless beating. However, he does not want Lennie to kill Curley, as it seems he might, so he stops Lennie before that can happen.


The men knew this fight was coming and George put money on Lennie to win. He cheers Lennie on at first but, once Lennie has obviously won, George stops the fight before it turns deadly.


George has become close to Slim while they've been on the ranch and does not want him to get in trouble. He also knows that Lennie will do anything he tells him to do and that Lennie can claim he was just defending himself. George opts to tell Lennie to fight back.


In order to fulfill his and Lennie's dream of owning their own farm, George plans to take over the ranch. In this moment, he sees an opportunity to do so and he takes it, hoping Lennie will ultimately kill Curley.

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