15 Whit Of Mice and Men Character Quotes and Description

Whit, a minor character in John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men, is a ranch hand and laborer.

He gives a perspective of young men working in the Great Depression.

Despite his limited role, he contributes to the story primarily through his interactions with other characters.

For example, he shares a story about a former ranch hand in a magazine with Slim.

Whit provides a background for other, more central characters. For example, he gossips with George about Curley’s wife.

Of Mice and Men Quotes With Page Numbers

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Whit Of Mice and Men Character Quotes With Page Numbers

“A young laboring man came in. His sloping shoulders were bent forward and he walked heavily on his heels, as though he carried the invisible grain bag. He went to his bunk and put his hat on his shelf. Then he picked up a pulp magazine from his shelf and brought it to the light over the table. “Did I show you this, Slim?” he asked.

“Show me what?”

The young man turned to the back of the magazine, put it down on the table and pointed with his finger.

“Right there, read that.” Slim bent over it.

“Go on,” said the young man. “Read it out loud.”

“Dear Editor”‘: Slim read slowly. ” ‘I read your mag for six years and I think it is the best on the market. I like stories by Peter Rand. I think he is a whingding. Give us more like the Dark Rider. I don’t write many letters. Just thought I would tell you I think your mag is the best dime’s worth I ever spent.’ ”

Slim looked up questioningly. “What you want me to read that for?”

Whit said, “Go on. Read the name at the bottom.”

Slim read, “‘Yours for success, William Tenner.'” He glanced up at Whit again. “What you want me to read that for?”

Whit closed the magazine impressively. “Don’t you remember Bill Termer? Worked here about three months ago?”

Slim thought . . . . “Little guy?” he asked. “Drove a cultivator?”

“That’s him,” Whit cried. “That’s the guy!”

“You think he’s the guy wrote this letter?”

“I know it. Bill and me was in here one day. Bill had one of them books that just come. He was lookin’ in it and he says, ‘I wrote a letter. Wonder if they put it in the book!’ But it wasn’t there. Bill says, `Maybe they’re savin’ it for later.’ An’ that’s just what they done. There it is.”

“Guess you’re right,” said Slim. “Got it right in the book.”

George held out his hand for the magazine. “Let’s look at it?” Whit found the place again, but he did not surrender his hold on it. He pointed out the letter with his forefinger. And then he went to his box shelf and laid the magazine carefully in. “I wonder if Bill seen it,” he said. “Bill and me worked in that patch of field peas. Run cultivators, both of us. Bill was a hell of a nice fella.”

~John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, (Slim, Whit, and George),  Chapter 3, Pages 45-47

George Milton Quotes With Page Numbers


“George said, “Anybody like to play a little euchre?”

“I’ll play out a few with you,” said Whit.”

~John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, (George and Whit),  Chapter 3, Page 48


“Sounds like there was a rat under there,” said Geoge. “We ought to get a trap down there.”

Whit broke out, “What the hell’s takin’ him so long? Lay out some cards, why don’t you? We ain’t going to get no euchre played this way.”

~John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, (George and Whit),  Chapter 3, Page 49


“George shuffled the cards noisily and dealt them. Whit drew a scoring board to him and set the pegs to start. Whit said, “I guess you guys really come here to work.”

“How do ya mean?” George asked.

Whit laughed. “Well, ya come on a Friday. You got two days to work till Sunday.”

“I don’t see how you figure,” said George.”

~John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, (George and Whit), Chapter 3, Page 49


“Whit laughed again. “You do if you been around these big ranches much. Guy that wants to look over a ranch comes in Sat’day afternoon. He gets Sat’day tight supper an’ three meals on Sunday, and he can quit Monday mornin’ after breakfast without turning his hand. But you come to work Friday noon. You got to put in a day an’ a half no matter how you figure.”

~John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, (Whit to George and Lennie),  Chapter 3, Page 50


“George dealt and Whit picked up his cards and examined them.

“Seen the new kid yet?” he asked.

“What kid?” George asked.

“Why, Curley’s new wife.”

“Yeah, I seen her.”

“Well, ain’t she a looloo?”

“I ain’t seen that much of her,” said George.

Whit laid down his cards impressively. ” Well, stick around an’ keep your eyes open. You’ll see plenty. She ain’t concealin’ nothing. I never seen nobody like her. She got the eye goin’ all the time on everybody. I bet she even gives the stable buck the eye. I don’t know what the hell she wants.”

George asked casually, “Been any trouble since she got here?”

It was obvious that Whit was not interested in his cards. He laid his hand down and George scooped it in. George laid out his deliberate solitaire handseven cards, and six on top, and five on top of those.”

~John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, (Whit and George), Chapter 3, Page 51


“Whit said, “I see what you mean. No, they ain’t been nothing yet. Curley’s got yella-jackets in his drawers, but that’s all so far. Ever’ time the guys is around she shows up. She’s lookin’ for Curley, or she thought she lef’ sotnethin’ layin’ around and she’s lookin’ for it. Seems like she can’t keep away from guys. An’ Curley’s pants is just crawlin’ with ants, but they ain’t nothing come of it yet.”

~John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, (Whit about Curley’s Wife),  Chapter 3, Page 51

Curley’s Wife Of Mice and Men Quotes


“George said, “She’s gonna make a mess. They’s gonna be a bad mess about her. She’s a jail bait all set on the trigger. That Curley got his work cut out for him. Ranch with a bunch of guys on it ain’t no place for a girl, specially like her.”

Whit said, “If you got idears, you ought to come in town with us guys tomorra night.”

 “Why? What’s doin’?”

“Jus’ the usual thing. We go in to old Susy’s place. Hell of a nice place. Old Susy’s a laugh always crackin’ jokes. Like she says when we come up on the front porch las’ Sat’day night. Susy opens the door and then she yells over her shoulder, ‘Get yor coats on, girls, here comes the sheriff.’ She never talks dirty, neither. Got five girls there.”

“What’s it set you back?” George asked.

“Two an’ a half. You can get a shot for two hits. Susy got nice chairs to set in, too. If a guy don’t want a flop, why he can just set in the chairs and have a couple or three shots and pass the time of day and Susy don’t give a damn. She ain’t rushin’ guys through and kickin’ ’em out if they don’t want a flop.”

“Might go in and look the joint over,” said George.”

~John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, (Whit and George), Chapter 3, Pages 51, 52


“Sure. Come along. It’s a hell of a lot of fun-her crackin’ jokes all the time. Like she says one time, she says, ‘I’ve knew people that if they got a rag rug on the floor an’ a kewpie doll lamp on the phonograph they think they’re running a parlor house.’ That’s Clara’s house she’s talkin’ about. An’ Susy says, ‘I know what you boys want; she says. ‘My girls is clean,’ she says, ‘an’ there ain’t no water in my whisky,’ she says. ‘If any you guys wanta look at a kewpie doll lamp an’ take your own chance gettin’ burned, why you know where to go.’ An’ she says, ‘There’s guys around here walkin’ bow-legged ’cause they like to look at a kewpie doll lamp.”‘

~John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, (Whit to George), Chapter 3, Page 52


“George asked, “Clara runs the other house, huh?”

“Yeah,” said Whit. “We don’t never go there. Clara gets three bucks a crack and thirty-five cents a shot, and she don’t crack no jokes. But Susy’s place is clean and she got nice chairs. Don’t let no googoos in, neither.”

“Me an’ Lennie’s rollin’ up a stake,” said George. “I might go in an’ set and have a shot, but I ain’t puffin’ out no two and a half.”

“Well, a guy got to have some fun sometime,” said Whit.”

~John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, (Whit and George), Chapter 3, Pages 52, 53

Lennie Small Quotes With Page Numbers


“Carlson said casually, “Curley been in yet?”

“No,” said Whit. “What’s eatin’ on Curley?”

Carlson squinted down the barrel of his gun. “Lookin’ for his old lady. I seen him going round and round outside.”

Whit said sarcastically, “He spends half his time lookin’ for her, and the rest of the time she’s lookin’ for him.”

~John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, (Whit and Carlson), Chapter 3, Page 53

Carlson Of Mice and Men Quotes

“Curley burst into the room excitedly. “Any you guys seen my wife?” he demanded.

“She ain’t been here,” said Whit.”

~John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, (Curley and Whit), Chapter 3, Page 53


“Curley jumped out the door and banged it after him.

Whit stood up. “I guess maybe I’d like to see this,” he said. “Curley’s just spoilin’ or he wouldn’t start for Slim. An’ Curley’s handy, …handy. Got in the finals for the Golden Gloves.

He got newspaper clippings about it.” He considered. “But jus’ the same, he better leave Slim alone. Nobody don’t know what Slim can do.”

~John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, (Whit about Curley and Slim), Chapter 3, Page 54

Slim Of Mice and Men Quotes With Page Numbers


“Thinks Slim’s with his wife, don’t he?” said George.

“Looks like it,” Whit said. “‘Course Slim ain’t. Least I don’t think Slim is. But I like to see the fuss if it comes off. Come on, le’s go.”

~John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, (Whit and George), Chapter 3, Page 54


“Outside the noise of the game stopped. There was a rise of voices in question, a drum of running feet and the men burst into the barn. Slim and Carlson and young Whit and Curley, and Crooks keeping back out of attention range.”

~John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, (The Narrator about Slim, Carlson, Whit, Curley, and Crooks),  Chapter 5, Page 96


“Whit said excitedly, “I ain’t got a gun.”

Curley said, “You go in Soledad an’ get a cop. Get AI Wilts, he’s deputy sheriff. Le’s go now.”

~John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, (Whit and Curley), Chapter 5, Pages 97, 98

Curley Of Mice and Men Quotes

Whit Of Mice and Men Character Description

In the book “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, Whit is portrayed as a minor character who provides valuable insight into the dynamics of the ranch workers’ lives.

  • Whit is a young, laboring man portrayed with heavy steps and sloping shoulders. His physical description signifies he carries the weighted burden of strenuous, manual labor.
  • He appreciates the little things in life, as evidenced when he showed Slim a letter from a former fellow worker, Bill Tenner, published in a magazine. This indicates companionship among the ranch workers, as they share their little joys and successes.
  • Whit is curious and enjoys casual conversations. He engages in a dialogue with George about their arrival at the ranch, which suggests he is observant as he comments about the patterns he has noticed with new workers on big ranches.
  • His interest in the ranch’s affairs is evident when he asks George about Curley’s new wife. His commentary on her flirtatious behavior shows his keen sense of observation and perception of people’s behaviors and intentions.
  • Whit shows an inclination towards passing the time through games, specifically euchre. His insistence on playing the game during work intervals demonstrates his desire for leisure and recreational activities between strenuous physical labor.
  • Whit displays noticeable impatience as George, the quick-witted yet meticulous character, takes his time dealing cards. This characteristic further emphasizes the harsh reality of Whit’s life as a ranch hand, as his dreams and desires are routinely put on hold, much like the card game.
  • Whit’s willingness to comment openly on other characters displays his frankness. For instance, his conversation about Curley’s wife and his observations about her behavior exemplifies his candid nature.
  • Despite being a minor character in the narrative, Whit plays a significant role in emphasizing the pervasive theme of loneliness in “Of Mice and Men.” He speaks nostalgically and warmly of Bill Tenner, a former worker, underscoring the fleeting relationships and the transitory nature of friendships among migratory workers, adding to the pervasive sense of loneliness.
  • In terms of narrative function, Whit, along with other ranch workers, foils George and Lennie, helping to illuminate their unique bond in the largely isolated world of itinerant labor.
  • Like the other men on the ranch, Whit symbolizes the forgotten folks of the Great Depression, confined to the fringes of society and eternally trapped in a cycle of transient work and profound solitude.


What is Whit’s role in Of Mice and Men?

Whit is a ranch hand and laborer in the novel “Of Mice and Men,” but his role is minimal. His presence mainly contributes to small moments throughout the plot, such as playing cards, discussing Curley’s wife, and getting involved in the hunt for Lennie.

Even with a minor role, Whit’s character interactions enhance the overall atmosphere and setting of the ranch life in the book.


What does Whit call Curley’s wife?

Whit refers to Curley’s wife as “a looloo.” This phrase denotes that she stands out significantly, implying that she is attractive or unique compared to the others on the ranch.

Whit’s choice of words provides insight into how the men on the ranch perceive and discuss Curley’s wife in her absence.

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