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Lennie went behind the tree and brought out a litter of dried leaves and twigs. He threw them in a heap on the old ash pile and went back for more and more. It was almost night now. A dove’s wings whistled over the water. George walked to the fire pile and lighted the dry leaves. The flame cracked up among the twigs and fell to work. George undid his bindle and brought out three cans of beans. He stood them about the fire, close in against the blaze, but not quite touching the flame.
“There’s enough beans for four men,” George said.
Lennie watched him from over the fire. He said patiently, “I like ‘em with ketchup.”
“Well, we ain’t got any,” George exploded. “Whatever we ain’t got, that’s what you want. God a’mighty, if I was alone I could live so easy. I could go get a job an’ work, an’ no trouble. No mess at all, and when the end of the month come I could take my fifty bucks and go into town and get whatever I want. Why, I could stay in a cat house all night. I could eat any place I want, hotel or any place, and order any damn thing I could think of. An’ I could do all that every damn month. Get a gallon of whisky, or set in a pool room and play cards or shoot pool.” Lennie knelt and looked over the fire at the angry George. And Lennie’s face was drawn with terror. “An’ whatta I got,” George went on furiously. “I got you! You can’t keep a job and you lose me ever’ job I get. Jus’ keep me shoving’ all over the country all the time. An’ that ain’t the worst. You get in trouble. You do bad things and I got to get you out.” His voice rose nearly to a shout. “You crazy son-of-a-bitch. You keep me in hot water all the time.” He took on the elaborate manner of little girls when they are mimicking one another. “Jus’ wanted to feel that girl’s dress — jus’ wanted to pet it like it was a mouse — Well, how the hell did she know you jus’ wanted to feel her dress? She jerks back and you hold on like it was a mouse. She yells and we got to hide in a irrigation ditch all day with guys lookin’ for us, and we got to sneak out in the dark and get outta the country. All the time somethin’ like that — all the time. I wisht I could put you in a cage with about a million mice an’ let you have fun.” His anger left him suddenly. He looked across the fire at Lennie’s anguished face, and then he looked ashamedly at the flames.
It was quite dark now, but the fire lighted the trunks of the trees and the curving branches overhead. Lennie crawled slowly and cautiously around the fire until he was close to George. He sat back on his heels. George turned the bean cans so that another side faced the fire. He pretended to be unaware of Lennie so close beside him.
“George,” very softly. No answer. “George!”
“Whatta you want?”
“I was only foolin’, George. I don’t want no ketchup.”
John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men
What is the immediate context for this passage?
Lennie has been upset because George took away his dead mouse
George has been talking about the dream of owning land
The two men are in hiding near Weed
Lennie has just killed the puppy
What immediately follows this passage?
Curley comes looking for his wife
The scene shifts to the following day
Lennie persuades George to talk about their dream
George deals the cards
Which phrase demonstrates Lennie's physical capacity for endurance?
"Threw them in a heap"
"Not quite touching"
"More and more"
What does the reader learn about George in this passage?
He sometimes resents Lennie
He worries about the consequences of Lennie's actions
He feels ashamed for the way he sometimes behaves towards Lennie
All of the above
Why does Lennie's wish for ketchup cause George to explode?
Lennie lost the ketchup when the two men fled from Weed
George is typically unreasonable and angry
The ketchup reminds George of the episode with the young woman
The wish represents Lennie's innocent lack of awareness
George explodes, speaks furiously and nearly shouts. At what point does his manner towards Lennie change?
He mimics girls' voices
He sees Lennie's face
He thinks about what he could do with his own wages
He throws another log on the fire
How does the reader know that Lennie does not want George to be angry with him? Choose the best answer.
He doesn't interrupt George
He moves around the fire
He pretends to have been joking about wanting ketchup
He builds up the fire when George asks him to do so
After George's outburst, how does the atmosphere change?
It becomes still
It becomes dreary
It becomes sorrowful
It becomes tense
What does the manner of Lennie's approach to George tell the reader?
Lennie always moves slowly
Lennie is still deeply afraid of George
George is frequently angry and it is Lennie's role to placate him
Lennie has a childlike trust in George's care for him
Lennie's encounter with the girl provides an example of which of the following?