Section six begins with Lennie, who has gone to the ‘brush’ as George directed him to in section one. He sits down at the edge of the pool and says, “I di’n’t forget, you bet, God damn. Hide in the brush an’ wait for George.”
While he is sitting there, he begins to hallucinate and out of his head comes a little fat woman. It turns out that it is Lennie’s Aunt Clara and she scolds him for not looking after George after all he has done for him. Lennie says that he knows and that he tried to be good. “I tried, Aunt Clara, ma’am. I tried and tried.”
Lennie tells her that he’ll go away and live in the mountains but she replies, “You’re always saying that, an’ you know sonofabitching well you ain’t never gonna do it.”
Aunt Clara disappears and is replaced with a huge rabbit who begins to talk to Lennie and criticise him. “You crazy bastard. You ain’t fit to lick the boots of no rabbit.” The rabbit continues, telling Lennie that George is sick of him. “He’s gonna beat hell outta you an’ then go away an’ leave you.” The rabbits taunts Lennie that George is going to leave him and Lennie begins to yell, but George arrives wondering what Lennie is yelling about.
Lennie tells George, “I done another bad thing,” to which George replies, “It don’t make no difference.” Lennie is confused because George isn’t shouting at him and says, “Ain’t you gonna give me hell?” George gives in and plays along criticising Lennie, but without any enthusiasm. Eventually Lennie says that he’ll go away and live in the hills mimicking the row they had in the first section.
Lennie then asks George to tell him about the dream and Geroge goes through the story of their dream, telling him how they’re going to have their own farm and that Lennie gets to look after the rabbits. While he is doing this, George is getting the gun ready and Lennie is looking out across the river.
As Lennie is talking to George about the dream, George shoots him in the back of the head, with the shot reverberating across the land. This mirrors the shooting of Candy’s dog, but unlike Candy, George didn’t let strangers kill Lennie and Lennie died happily thinking about the dream.
The book ends with Slim and George heading towards the highway and Carlson says to Curley, “Now what the hell ya suppose is eatin’ them two guys.” This shows that Carlson has no idea why the men are upset, showing that Carlson, like the rest of the men don’t have any feelings for anyone else.
- What does Lennie imagine during the hallucinations? Explain with reference to the text.
- What does the hallucinations show you about Lennie?
- Why does Lennie want George to give him hell?
- Why do you think George shoots Lennie?
- How did you feel when you realised Lennie was dead?
- Does the shooting of Lennie mirror any other story in the book? What are the similarities and what are the differences?
- Imagine you are George, write the diary entry you would write that night.