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From the text:
Over each bunk there was nailed an apple box with the opening forward so that it made two shelves for the personal belongings of the occupant of the bunk. And these shelves were loaded with little articles, soap and talcum powder, razors and those Western magazines ranch men love to read and scoff at and secretly believe. And there were medicines on the shelves, and little vials, combs; and from nails on the box sides, a few neckties.
These items give us a more personal look at the ranch hands. They speak to cleanliness, losing oneself in a good story, and even dressing up for a special occasion.
Of Mice and Men