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The protagonist of the story is George. He is the kind-hearted ranch hand who is concerned about his friend Lennie and watches out for him.
The antagonist of the story is George’s trying to care for the handicapped Lennie. Because he has a giant’s body and a child’s mind, Lennie accidentally kills Curley’s wife; at the same time he kills the dream of owning a farm that has kept George and Lennie positive about the future
The climax occurs when Lennie accidentally kills Curley’s wife. George knows that he can no longer save Lennie, for Curley will want revenge.
Of Mice and Men ends in tragedy. George feels compelled to mercifully kill his friend and companion, Lennie, in order to save him from a brutal death. The death of Lennie also marks the death of the beautiful dream they have been nurturing.