Of Mice and Men Study Questions

Of Mice and Men

Reading Comprehension Exercises

Use these exercises to help you focus as you read and to prepare for comprehension quizzes.  These questions are not mandatory exercises, but if you can answer them, you will surely do well on the quizzes.


  1.  Describe the physical and mental characteristics of George and Lennie.
  2. Why are George and Lennie walking to the ranch?
  3. What does George tell Lennie to do before they meet with the ranch owner?
  4. What does Lennie attempt to hide from George?
  5. Why does Lennie like mice and rabbits?
  6. What kinds of complaints does George make about Lennie?
  7. How did Lennie lose his last job?
  8. What is George and Lennie’s dream for the future?
  9. According to George, what makes George and Lennie different from other ranch hands?
  10. According to George, what instructions should Lennie follow if any trouble occurs at the ranch?




Identify each of the following characters, their relationship to other characters in the novel and their character traits.  You should, of course, already know about George and Lennie.


  1. Candy
  2. The Boss
  3. The “stable buck”
  4. Curley
  5. Curley’s wife
  6. Slim
  7. Carlson
  8. Smitty




  1. Why does Lennie return from the barn hunched over and secretive?
  2. Why does Carlson dislike Candy’s dog?
  3. Why is Whit impressed by a letter in a pulp magazine?
  4. Why does Candy ultimately give in to Carlson?
  5. Why does Whit invite George into town?
  6. What does Curley think when he learns that Slim is in the barn?
  7. What does Candy suggest when he overhears George and Lennie talking about their dream plans?
  8. When Curley is humiliated by Slim and Carlson, how does he attempt to restore his own pride?
  9. What happens to Curley as a result of his attempt to restore his pride?
  10.  How does Slim save George and Lennie’s jobs?  What does he say to Curley?




  1. At the beginning of the chapter, why is Lennie in the barn?
  2. Why isn’t Crooks allowed to go in the bunk house?
  3. How does Crooks torment Lennie?
  4. What does Crooks say he needs?
  5. When does Crooks become convinced that Lennie’s dream can come true?
  6. What is Crooks offer to Candy and Lennie?
  7. What does Curley tell his wife about his hand?
  8. What does Curley’s wife guess about Lennie?
  9. How does Curley’s wife react when Crooks tells her to leave?
  10. What does Crooks tell Candy to forget?




  1. Why is Lennie angry and sorry about the puppy?
  2. Why does Curley’s wife sit next to Lennie in the barn?
  3. What does Lennie do to Curley’s wife by accident?
  4. Where does Lennie go to escape?
  5. Who reports the news about Curley’s wife?
  6. In which direction does George say Lennie went?
  7. Why do the men assume that Lennie is armed?
  8. Why does Candy lie down in the hay and cover his face?
  9. Who shoots Lennie?  Where does he shoot him?   Why does he shoot him?
  10. Why does Slim offer to buy George a drink?

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