Of Mice and Men: Chapter 2 Study Guide

Chapter 2 Questions & Answers

1.  According to the old man, why was the boss mad at George and Lennie?  Because they weren’t there to go to work in the morning.

2.  What does George find in the box by his bed and what does he assume?  He finds flea power, and he assumes that the bed was occupied before by someone with fleas.

3. Describe the “stable buck.”  What physical attributes does he have?  What does the boss use him for?  The stable buck is a black man, hunched over with a crooked back. He’s smart (he reads books); and strong (he beat up Smitty in a boxing match on Christmas day); and yet he abused by the boss any time that he’s mad (because he’s black.)

4.  Describe the fight between the “stable buck” and Smitty.  Smitty started the fight, but the rest of the guys wouldn’t let Smitty use his legs because of Crooks’ bad back. Crooks beat him up and Smitty just made excuses why he didn’t win.

5.  What is Lennie’s last name? Small

6.  What does the boss suspect George of doing to Lennie?  What makes him think this?  The boss thinks that George is taking Lennie’s money (selling him out). He thinks this because George won’t let Lennie talk.

7.  What reason does George give for taking care of Lennie? He lies and says they’re cousins and that he promised his “old lady” that he would look after him.

8.  What is George’s last name?  Milton

9.  Who is Curley?  The boss’ son

10.  What does the swamper tell George about Curley’s left hand?  He keeps a glove full of Vaseline on it to keep it “soft” for his new wife.

11.  Describe Curley’s wife. She attractive, with nice close, painted nails, and red hair. However, she has “the eye,” which means she’s a flirt / tart and wants to sleep around on Curley

12.  Why does she come into the bunkhouse?  She says to look for Curley, but we’re led to believe she’s there to look over the new guys to see if there is anything worth “looking at”…

13.  Describe Slim.  What is his job on the ranch?  What are some of his character traits?  Slim is the “skinner” which means he drives the horse / mule teams in the field. He’s tall, skinny, but has a presence of authority around him. When he talks, everyone listens and obeys. His voice is gentle and welcoming, but it is the “last word” on the ranch.

14.  What did Slim do to four of his pups?  Why?  Drowned them…because his dog couldn’t have nursed that many.

15.  What does Lennie want George to ask Slim?  If he can have one of the pups.

IV. SHORT ESSAY: write a paragraph answer to the following questions.  Use quotes from the book to support your answer.

16.  Describe the atmosphere of the ranch and bunkhouse.  Be sure to include characteristics of different characters that were formally or informally introduced to us in this chapter.

While the bunkhouse is friendly enough, there is a sense of “keep to yourself” amongst every person. No one really forms long lasting relationships because they know that anyone of them could head out the next day for another job. There isn’t a lot of trust, except they all trust Slim; his gentle authority invites trust but doesn’t demand it.


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