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Why does Curley attack Lennie? What is Lennie's reaction?


stefanie m #193645
Jul 27, 2011 8:04 PM

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Why does Curley attack Lennie? What is Lennie's reaction?

Reading Guide chapters 3-4

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Jul 27, 2011 8:44 PM

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Curly has a major case of "small guy complex". He goes after Lennie because he is a big guy and Curly does not expect him to fight back. After being pounded on for awhile, George gives Lennie the go ahead to protect himself. Curly gets his hand crushed.

tracey l #96417
Aug 04, 2011 11:29 PM

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Curley attacks Lennie because he has honed in on Lennie's vulnerability. He is a coward in real terms, but he constantly has to assert his masculinity. As Candy warns them-

'Seems like Curley ain't givin' nobody a chance.'

There has been a rumour spread about Curley keeping one of his hands in vaseline. When Curley is challenged by Carlson his temper is roused. Carlson threatens him -

'You come for me, an' I'll kick your God damn head off.'

Candy is also mocking Curley, but having one hand makes him no fair match. It is then when Curley sees Lennie as a fairer physical opponent, even though he is clearly not a mental match.


Source(s): 'Of Mice and Men' - J Steinbeck


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