George and Lennie: a friendship burdened.
Friendship is a powerful bond that connects two or more people together in an unforgettable and special way. The novella titled Of Mice And Men, by George Steinbeck, follows the life of two migrant workers as they travel down the state of California in the 1930’s. George, a smaller and smarter worker, and Lennie, a very large man with special needs. The two flee from Weed to seek a job in Soledad at a ranch, after Lennie gets himself in trouble.
The two arrive at the ranch and are accepted as hard workers by their fellow workers, but are not too fond of the boss’ son, Curley. Throughout the whole novel, George is taking care of Lennie, because of the great friendship and love they have for each other. George has taken care of Lennie his entire life and is sometimes dragged down by him, but Lennie thrives under George’s care.
George has always wanted the best for Lennie by telling him what to do most of the time, but the two are friends that would be lost without one another.
It appears that throughout the story, George is constantly telling Lennie what to do. This may be true, but George is not doing this because he wants to feel powerful and bossy. Lennie would hurt himself or others without Georges guidance. Lennie listens and tries to remember what George has told or taught him, and most of the time does. When Lennie loses control and gets scared, he does not follow what George tells him to do, but still remembers it. “You gonna get me in trouble jus’ like George says you will. Now don’t 2
you do that”(91) This line was spoken by Lennie, while he was holding on to Curleys wife, shortly before snapping her neck. Lennie has trouble thinking sometimes, and it is shown throughout the book that he is not a fighter, but when he gets scared, his only defense is to hold on for dear life. In the bunkhouse one night, Curley comes in and assumes that Lennie is smiling because some of Lennies fellow bunkmates are making fun of Curley. Curley does not know this, but Lennie is thinking about tending the rabbits. Curley challenges him to a fight. “He backed until he was against the wall, and Curley followed, slugging him in the face. Lennies hands remained at his sides; he was too frightened to defend himself… Curley’s fist was swinging when Lennie reached for it. The next minute Curley was flopping like fish on a line, his closed fist was lost in Lennie’s hand.”(63) When Lennie gets scared, his only reaction is to grab, and once he grabs, he does not let go, and this is what gets him into trouble most of the time. Lennie is a man who has special needs, and does not want to hurt people, but when he is scared, his only defense is to hold on. George and Lennie share a special friendship, in which George guides Lennie and tries to keep him out of trouble.
George and Lennie are affected in different ways in their relationship. In the company and guidance of George, Lennie thrives in life and gets along very well for the most part. Lennie is a man who has special needs, and George understands that if Lennie is sent to a hospital 3
or institution, he would be treated unfairly because the mental institutions in the 1930’s were not a good place to be sent. George is a knows that he is being held back by Lennie, and sometimes Lennie catches on to Georges occasional comments about this. “If you don’ want me i can go off in the hills an’ find a cave. I can go away anytime.”(12) Lennie spoke this line in response to Georges comment to him. “When i think of the swell time i could have without you, I go nuts. I never get no peace.”(12) This shows that George knows that he is one of the only reasons Lennie is a free man, and that he has to take care of him for Lennie to maintain his freedom. George does not give up on this, because of the great friendship that they have together, but it is clear that if Lennie was out of the picture, George would clearly have more opportunities in the future without Lennie. George and Lennie are in a friendship in which Lennie thrives with the help of George, but George is held back in his life because he must always be guiding Lennie in the right direction.
George and Lennie share a special friendship that at times holds George back from opportunities, but at the same time allows Lennie to be a free man and be guided into the right direction so he can stay out of trouble. George and Lennie are two migrant workers who have been friends their whole life.
George and Lennie need each other to survive because of the amazing friendship that they have had over the years. Even though Lennie can drag George down, they are still great friends who would be lost without one another. George and Lennie’s relationship could be related to a father-son relationship. George has to guide and teach Lennie right from wrong and almost always have his eyes
On him, or know where he is, to make sure he is not getting himself into trouble. Friendship is a special bond that is formed between two different people, a bond that cannot be separated, even in the darkest times.
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