The book is about two migrant field workers in Salinas California during the Great Depression. The two characters I will tell about are George Milton, a smart man with a quick mind who can handle any situation that he comes up against him and his associate Lenny Small, who is a very large man, who doesnt realize his own strength and he is mentally disabled. He thinks like a child, asks lot of questions and forgets everything accept his love for bunnies and having a home for them. The two get pared up as his aunt who raised him is dying and she gets George to take care of him before she dies.
About George Milton:
I heard about a work opportunity and I knew we would have to outdo everyone to get on in these hard times and I am just the man to do This! Days are hard and long but I push forward, get two work cards, two bus tickets and were off! Itr’s so frustrating that I have to keep repeating where were going and what were doing as Lennyr’s short term memory is gone, yet somehow he remembers our plan, our dream. The dream for him is taking care of the rabbits, for me it is so much more. A couple acres, a homestead, planting my own crops, going to the show, living off the fat of the land. These are hard times, but not for me because I am a man with a plan.
Arriving a day late as the bus driver tricked me saying this was the last stop because he didnt want to drive out to the job site. We spent the night almost there by the river side, I told Lenny if you ever get in trouble you come back here and wait for me, staythereuntil I come for you, understand? How I hoped that he would understand. Today as we are walking in, I know I am going to have to impress the boss man to take us on. Her’s apprehensive but as I prove to him that Im the brains and Lennyr’s strength is limitless, were in. In the back of my mind I am worried as we got ran out off the last town because Lenny loves soft things and as he got overly excited touching a bar maids dress, he was up for attempted rape, barely escaping were here now, on the job and I am actually working 24 hours a day looking after this man. Why did I take this man on, plays over and over with my mind. Why did I promise the ole lady to take care of him?
Everyone has a story. Candy, the bosses secretary, disabled with no use of one arm is here with his awesome very old dog, just grateful to have a job and lives with us in the bunk house. Curley, the owners son, a wimp of a man whor’s angry at life. His wife Mae, a sleazy lady at best, whor’s quickly going crazy from not friends, sher’s the only lady, and no attention from anyone, even her husbandrhave to ask myself, what kind of of a trap have I set for myself? At times I almost envied Lenny, he really didnt have a care in the world especially with me always giving him hope with our dream, where will my hope come from?
Well for Lenny his life got brighter as Slim, the foreman had a batch of puppyr’s and he loves soft things, but to much love can cause them death. Well to bribe him to work faster to guarantee our jobs I allowed him to have a puppy. More responsibility for me, but job security too. One night I came in after Candy’s old dog had to been put down by Carlson and Lenny invited him to come with us, on our dream. I wouldnt have given it a thought except he had two hundred fifty dollars cash and promise to put in all his accrued earnings too. All of a sudden I had a sense of reaching my goal, so I agreed! I set aside money and was sending off our deposit to the owners.
Days are getting longer and my dreams getting closer and the next thing I know Curley is down here in the barn, crazy jealous looking for his wife again, accusing Slim of being with her, and Lennyr’s laughs, not because itr’s funny but he knew she was just there to see her puppy which Curley made her giveback because it was from another man. He went into a rage and started beating Lenny who was begging me to help him but couldnt help him. I told him to fight back, hit him, push him away and finally he caught his hand and crushed it until he fell unconsciously to the dirt. My minds working overtime for what to do, SlimI comes up with a plan to save all our jobs and Curley his relationship with his father and wife. It was an accident, his hand got got in a machine, end of story. We all took an oath to silence that night.
Finally a night of fun and to forget the hell I live in here, we are going to the Saloon, therer’s friendly girls, booze etc. only to realize I cant even enjoy that, concerned about Lenny, whatr’s he Doing? I return home only to find Lennyr’s not in bed a sleep, I look around and I hear men talking and there it is Lennyr’s voice her’s in there with Crooks, the black cook who lives all alone in the shack right outside the dung heep. Her’s been talking, her’s talking to much, telling about our plans asking about his dreams, to many questions to much talk. Then Caddy shows up, going over the figures and the plans. I come back only to find the three men singing and Lenny with a cigar I his mouth. Now I have too deal with another guy and in walks Mae, Curleyr’s wife asking questions about who beat up Curley up. While she tryr’s to intimidate Lenny, i had enough and almost punched her
Now another day has come, itr’s our horse shoe game, a time to forget this sorry place, to have some fun. We were all at the tournament until Caddy goes to feed the puppyr’s and picks his out and goes to see Slim, I was there and I smiled I told him, itr’s good for a man to have a dog. Just then I realized we needed to find Lenny but instead we found Mae dead on the floor in the barn. Cold chills run through every bone, I have to stop this at all cost.
Curley arrives angry and mad, but now this changes his lies too, he calls all the men together to find Lenny and there going to kilt him, to go out and gun down Lenny. Mean while Slim joins me, I show him the gun, my heart sinks my gut is unbearable, I know I must peacefully put Lenny down, just like a dog, so he wont suffer. I go to where I knew he would be, I find him and begin to tell him our story. While in my heart I realize there is no escaping for either of us, I am forever here and he needs to be set free from this life. As I describe our place, the calm river and his rabbits, I pull the trigger and shoot him in the back of his head. He falls to the ground and at this moment i feel as if I am dead too. I give the gun to the sherif and we all realize this life is our the end.
About Lenny Smalls:
I like George, her’s my best friend. Were always going somewhere cause I always get in trouble. Now were on a bus ride going to Ranch#3? George got tickets in San Francisco for us to go. I had my ticket in my pocket but now George has it? The bus driver dont like us so he dropped us off too soon, we walk and walk until George says itr’s supper times and we have beans, I want ketchup on my beans, but George says, No ketchup why do I like ketchup? Before we go to sleep George told me to remember this place if I get in trouble and come here and wait for him so I promised I will.
Why do bad things happen to me? Why do I like small soft things? Why cant I just live on the top of a hill and layin the sun with my dead bird? Why? I like it when George tells me our story, I can almost say it myself but I like it better when George tells it, it seems so real, I can see it in my eyes. We have each other. I take care of George, he takes care of me. We have cows, food and lots of rabbits, all different color ones too. George is happy when I dont talk and Im happy when George is happy.
Were at Ranch #3the boss is mad were late, his friend has one good arm and an old dog. They want me talk but George doesnt want me too. No ones nice here until George shows them how strong I am, so we can stay. We go to the barn, they got puppies there, George says maybe I can have one if I dont get in trouble and work hard. The owners son come in, he keeps bugging me, I dont know why? George says he dont like big guys, for me not to talk to him or his wife and thatr’s hard cause sher’s pretty.
Sometimes George goes with the guys I have to stay home and sleep. I dont want to sleep, I see the cooks light on and go there. He said, why did you come here? I said , your light was on we talked and talked I asked why he didnt go with the boys and he said cause her’s black? I told him I couldnt go because George said so. Then Candy came by writing numbers about our place and now Crooks wants to come too. The next thing I know George is here, her’s mad at me tells everyone to go to bed, her’s mad at me but Ill go to bed.
Another night and the men all go playing horse shoes. I sneak to-see my puppy, were playing and he bites me, so I hit him and her’s dead. As I hold him quietly crying Mae comes in to see he pup, I tell her what happened and she said it dont matter because her’s a runt. Then she tells me to touch her hair because itr’s soft. I love her hair but I mess it up and she screams and I break her and run away, just like George said. I wait and wait and George comes, then I hear all the men, George says there going hunting, I want to go hunting but George says we cant go and he sits me down and tells me the story of our new home, I can almost see it with my eyes and then…
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