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? ? If you have read the novel? Of Mice and Men? and are anything like me, then the novel will have held you captivated.
During the 1930 s, in which the novel was set, an economic disaster was taking place. It was very difficult to find a job at this time, because of this man-made catastrophe. This context relates to the novel a lot and shows the reader a reason why George and Lennie were so close. For me the relationship between George and Lennie was very interesting.
This essay is about the two migrant American workers and their strange bond. ? ? George Milton has an astute mind, with sharp eyes and a quick tongue. In the novel, he is described as? small? , ? strong?
and? slender? . He is very intelligent and quick to react. ? ? He looks after Lennie, as he feels he has duty to Lennie. I think that this duty comes from when they were young and George used to lead Lennie on, telling him to do things he wasn? t capable of, like telling Lennie to jump into the Sacramento River, just to impress a group of guys.
Lennie did jump in, although he couldn? t swim at all. He nearly drowned and it was a while before Lennie could be pulled out. Then he was so nice to George for pulling him out; I think the duty came from this, because George felt guilty. He realised his attitude towards Lennie was rotten, and from that day on I think he tried to improve his manner towards Lennie. Then the more time George spent with Lennie; the more he liked him. ? ?
Now George almost treats Lennie like his son. He has an uncommon bond with Lennie, which I don? t think anybody can break. The way he is like a parent to Lennie, is the way that he looks after him. He knows that if he left Lennie, Lennie would be in all sorts of trouble. ? ? But that doesn?
t mean that George doesn? t think about what life would be like without Lennie. I think he secretly fantasies about what his life would be like, without Lennie pulling him down. However, he also knows that he wouldn? t be able to leave Lennie, because Lennie is weak and vulnerable. ? ? I think that if George didn?
t have Lennie, he would be much more carefree. He says to Lennie? If I was alone I could live so easy. (I could) go into town and get whatever I want. An? what I got? I got you. ?
George says this when he is really angry and not just at Lennie. He is angry at the way his life is turning out. You can tell he wants to make more of his life. He is upset because he feels restricted by Lennie, but I think that even if he didn? t have the restrictions, he wouldn? t do anything different. ? ?
George has Lennie and Lennie has George, but I think George feels that he needs somebody else, someone he can sit down with and have a serious conversation and that? s what Lennie can not give him. And if Lennie were to try to pay George back for his help, George wouldn? t want money, but conversation. Because whatever Lennie is told, it goes in one ear and out the other. ? ?
George likes to play solitaire, they live in Soledad and both these words mean isolation. Here, I think Steinbeck is trying to show George? s loneliness. ? ? There is nothing obvious about what George gets out of this relationship, but I think it might be the pleasure of having a hold over Lennie. ? ? ? ? Lennie Small is most certainly not small! In the novel, he is described as?
a huge man, shapeless of face, large pale eyes and sloping shoulders. ? So from this description you can tell that he is George? s opposite. ? ? In the novel, Steinbeck compares Lennie to animals, which I find very interesting. The first comparison is about the way Lennie walks. ? ? ? ? ? The way a bear drags his paws. ?
The next comparison is about the way he drinks. ? ? ? ? ? Snorting into the water like a horse. ? Then towards the end there is the similarity between Candy? s dog? s death and Lennie? s death. ? ?
Although Lennie is described as? an affectionate giant with the mind of a child? , he is still intelligent, but forgetful. He knows that George cares for him deeply and would never leave him. He uses this affinity to his advantage.
When George starts to get mad at him, he answers, ? George, you want I should go away and leave you alone? If you don? want me I can go off in the hills an? find a cave. I can go away anytime. ?
Lennie knows that George will not let him go, so he gets around George by making him feel guilty. ? ? Even though Lennie is quite intelligent, he is very childlike. As a child is often described as? innocent? , Lennie is also innocent, but in a different way to a child. He isn? t sheltered from the cruelties of the world and people don?
t treat him like a child; he is just unable to understand certain things. Like why Curley picks on him. ? ? Because Lennie is? innocent? , he accidentally does bad things.
One incident that the reader is told about, is about what happened in Weed. Lennie saw a girl wearing a red dress and went to touch it. Of course, the girl got scared, so she screamed. Then Lennie panicked and got tight hold of the dress. When he finally let go, the girl was so terrified, that she said she had been raped.
This was the reason why George and Lennie had to get away from Weed. ? ? Through the book, the reader is being told about the mice that Lennie killed, by petting them too hard. Then the inevitable happened and Lennie killed his puppy, accidentally. After that death, came another. Curley? s wife died, killed by Lennie.
Yet, he remains? innocent? . He has taken a life, but is cannot really be blamed for the death. ? ? I think Lennie treats George like a father, an older brother and a friend, all in one, because George always seems to be there for him. In a way, Lennie idolizes George and you can see that from the way Lennie used to listen and hang on to every word George said. Even though he forgot what was said to him most of the time, I think, whatever George said to him was in his mind somewhere. ? ?
If Lennie didn? t have George, I think he would be dead by now. This is because Lennie does such stupid things, then panics. This almost always results in adversity. Some situations would be so bad, that people would want to kill Lennie and no body would stop him from dying.
And because Lennie is so dumb, he wouldn? t be able to run and hide, and people wouldn? t be sympathetic, they? d just see him as a dangerous person. ? ? Lennie gets companionship and a carer, out of this relationship and these are the things he needs the most. Someone to keep him on the straight and narrow path. ? ? ?
Obviously, the two must have a very strong relationship, in order to travel together. Yet, I think the novel suggests that they don? t know much about each other. I? m sure that sometimes George will say something that makes Lennie think? He hasn?
t said anything like that before? and vice versa. Although they travel around and look after each other, I don? t think they are very intimate with each other. I think that, even though Lennie is na&Il; ve, he still knows how to keep things to himself. Whereas George would like someone to confide in.
I don? t think Lennie feels the need for this comfort. ? ? George sits down to have discussions with Slim, the jerking skinner on the ranch, who he really seems to trust. Yet, other people seem to confide in Lennie, because they know what they are telling him will not ever be repeated. However, I think Lennie understands more than he lets on, but he just doesn? t want to confront the person, talk about the problem and take on some responsibility.
He doesn? t know how. George and Lennie contradict the typical stereotype of ranch workers being lonely and friendless, by travelling together and just by being friends. Nevertheless, George plays solitaire. Steinbeck is trying to show that, even though George has Lennie?
s constant companionship, he is still lonely, which is why he plays solitaire. Solitaire is card game that you can play by yourself. ? ? Other ranch workers are quite envious of George and Lennie? s bond, but shy away if someone tries to get close to them.
They find the way George and Lennie travel together, strange. ? ? ? ? ? Funny how you an? him string along together, ? Slim says to George. I think even George finds it strange himself, so he becomes protective and defensive whenever people say things like this. ? ? Like I mentioned before, George would really like to talk to someone.
I think this person could be Slim, because they both seem to enjoy each others company and the only time George really opens up, is in Slim? s presence. ? ? ? ? ? Another lonely person is Crooks and he isn? t just jealous of their relationship, but the way the are accepted by everyone, just because they are white. He is black and the other ranch workers treat him like an outcast. They call him?
nigger? and Crooks is his nickname, because of his crooked back. Crooks wants a close friend and resents seeing George and Lennie together. He says to Lennie, when George and the other guys are out, ? ? ? ? ? S? pose he (George) gets hurt so he can?
t come back. ? Crooks says this because he wants Lennie to feel how he feels; lonely. Crooks is like Lennie, because they are both outcasts. Crooks because he is a Negro and Lennie because he is a dumb, big guy and the others see him as a? cuckoo? . ? ? George and Lennie travel America in search of jobs.
They wouldn? t have to do this if Lennie didn? t get them kicked out of every job they got. But he always manages to get them kicked out. Either that or he does something really stupid, so George and Lennie have to run away. This is obviously a really big problem, by itself.
But with the Wall Street Crash and economic problems, this is really bad. So whenever the two find a job, it is just pure luck. What all this means is that they have to live life like this, because Lennie is always going to slip up. ? ? As I said before, George and Lennie break the stereotype of ranch workers being lonely. They both know they break the stereotype and are proud of it. ? ? ? ? ? Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world.
They got no family. They don? t belong no place. They ain? t got nothing to look ahead to. ? George says.
Lennie replies, delightedly. ? ? ? ? ? That? s it? that? s it. Now tell how it is with us. ?
Then George goes on to tell a story of how he and Lennie will live in the future. ? ? George and Lennie have a dream. This is a dream of owning their own farm. For George it means not having to answer to anyone and being his own boss. For Lennie, it means being able to tend to rabbits. ? ? I think the dream is like the foundation of their relationship; the thing that, if they were split up, they would both be able to look back on and it would keep them going.
Although you? re probably thinking it? s a nice thing to have, a dream, let me tell you it? s not nice for George and Lennie. Because deep down they both know that their dream is just a dream. It is a fantasy, which won?
t come true. I don? t think Lennie realises as much as George that the dream won? t come true.
Lennie is absolutely obsessed about looking after rabbits and is always asking about them. ? ? ? ? ? Let? s have different colour rabbits, George, ? Lennie says. There? s only a glimmer of hope that the dream will come true and Lennie hangs onto this hope. ? ?
Most people say that it is Lennie who needs George, but I believe that George needs Lennie, just as much. They? ve been friends for so long, that I don? t think they could bear to be apart. ? ?
Some people say that with George? s wit and Lennie? s strength, together, they make the perfect person. I don?
t necessarily think this is true, because they don? t always get along. ? ? As Curley? s wife was being killed, George and Lennie? s relationship was breaking down.
Because Lennie had done so many terrible things and finally he did his worst. He took a life and George couldn? t bail him out. This time Lennie had gone too far. Even though everybody knows that he didn?
t mean to kill her, he did. He even said to Curley? s wife? ? ? ? ? I don?
t want ta hurt you. ? This simple statement makes you feel sorry for Lennie and he remains? innocent? because of this. However, he is not harmless. He just proved by killing a woman that he is lethal and George sees no way out of this major problem.
George knows that Lennie didn? t mean to kill anyone, but he can? t explain to the others. They just think Lennie murdered her in cold blood and are now out for Lennie? s blood. ? ?
When Curley? s wife died, Lennie effectively killed off the relationship between him and George. The bond was still there, but this time George couldn? t save Lennie?
s skin. So he killed Lennie himself, so the others couldn? t hold a gun to Lennie? s head. ? ?
By giving the novel such a tragic ending, Steinbeck leads you to only one conclusion: that even George and Lennie, the best of friends, could not break the typical stereotype and beat the American society. ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
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