Alternative Character Interpretation: In the 1992 movie, Curley's wife is far more sympathetic than in the book - specifically, the scene in which she crosses the Moral Event Horizon by threatening to have Crooks lynched is omitted. The director wanted her depicted more as a "sad angel" rather than the vampish character she appeared to be in the novel.
Tear Jerker: "And George raised the gun and steadied it, and he brought the muzzle of it close to the back of Lennie's head. The hand shook violently, but his face set and his hand steadied. He pulled the trigger. The crash of the shot rolled up the hills and rolled down again. Lennie jarred, and then settled slowly forward to the sand, and he lay without quivering."
Weird Al Effect: George and Lennie are far better known to modern audiences as characters regularly spoofed in Looney Tunes and Tex Avery cartoons ("Which way did he go, George? Which way did he go?") Tex Avery even made a cartoon based on the character Lennie called "Lonesome Lenny".
The Woobie: George. The man constantly loses his job and seems like he actually is a pretty nice guy, but he has to endure a lot of pain since he travels with Lennie. He causes George to frequently lose his job and be on the run and George can't have a social life because he always has to take care of Lennie AND he forcedhimself toshoot Lennie. You gotta feel a LITTLE sorry for him because of that.
Lennie, too. However goofy it may be, the scene in which he gets internal dialogue (with the aunt who raised him and with a rabbit) is utterly heartbreaking; he blames himself for everything that goes wrong in George's life, and his biggest fear is being abandoned. And all he really wants to do is hold little animals.