The story of Of Mice and Men presents a compelling and vivid portrayal of rural American life. It tells the tragic tale of George Milton and Lennie Small, who are both lonely and nomadic laborers with no sense of belonging. George takes on the responsibility of safeguarding Lennie, who is mentally disabled but physically powerful, against theft and deceit from ranch bosses and fellow workers. However, by doing so, George significantly diminishes his own chances of achieving independence and tranquility.
To please his overly enthusiastic companion, George has created a fantasy where they both run a farm and Lennie is responsible for caring for the rabbits. This imaginative scenario quickly calms any worries the gentle giant has and provides solace for the otherwise practical and cynical George. Upon reaching their latest farmhouse, Lennie dutifully pledges his obedience and good behavior to his friend. With some skepticism, George arranges employment for both of them, solidifying the future of these traveling friends.
Curley, a paranoid sadist, immediately dislikes Lennie solely because of his strength. After a series of confrontations, Lennie is moved to assert dominance over Curley. Due to his inability to control his immense strength, the naive brute unintentionally breaks Curley’s hand before his colleagues can intervene. This incident serves as a turning point, as Curley begins plotting his revenge. Tragically, the perfect opportunity arises in the form of Curley’s wife – a coarse yet desperately lonely individual who frequently seeks attention from the ranch workers to alleviate her monotonous existence.
Driven out of the bunkhouse by her jealous husband, the young woman waits for the other men to leave the ranch. Alone with Lennie, she begins talking to him without realizing the danger he poses. Lost in her own sadness, the girl talks about an opportunity she had to be in Hollywood movies and invites Lennie to touch her hair, which she describes as soft. Initially hesitant, Lennie eventually gives in to her friendly insistence.
Suddenly, she finds herself trapped in his incomprehensible grasp and shortly after, her lifeless body collapses to the floor of the bunkhouse. When George and… (The entire section is 1382 words.) Subscribe to Read More » Of Mice and Men: George and Lennie Print PDF Cite The relationship between the intelligent yet weak George Milton and the mentally challenged yet physically strong Lennie Small is the central focus of Steinbeck’s novella, and an initial reading strongly suggests that “friendship” or “personal commitment” is one of the prominent themes in this work. As the simple-minded Lennie dutifully states, the two men stand out among all the other characters in the story “because I have you to take care of me, and you have me to take care of you, and that’s why.” (p. 15). The initial conversation with the ranch boss emphasizes the unusual nature of their bond, and Slim, the chief mule driver, later echoes his employer’s confusion when he remarks to George, “‘It’s strange how you and him stick together.'” (p. 43). George reveals that he and Lennie are not actually relatives but rather have known each other since they were in school.
They share a common history, a shared vision of the future, and their current circumstances bring them closer together. This implies a foundation of mutual fondness. However, their relationship is symbiotic in nature. They are brought together out of necessity rather than genuine emotional connection. Lennie relies entirely on his longtime friend and the mere idea of George leaving him causes the childlike giant to panic. It is clear from the beginning that Lennie would struggle to survive in their harsh world without George, who holds his companion’s work permit and speaks on his behalf.
Crooks, the stable buck, accurately states that without George’s constant guidance, Lennie would end up confined like a dog in an institution for the intellectually disabled. Lennie not only dresses like George, but also copies his movements. The depth of Lennie’s emotional connection with George becomes evident in the final chapter of the novel when his troubled conscience manifests as a huge rabbit speaking in Lennie’s voice, echoing George’s words. Similarly, just as Lennie requires mice, puppies, and rabbits to care for, George relies on Lennie for companionship.
George and Slim share a deep bond. To strengthen their connection, George asked Slim to jump into the Sacramento River. However, Slim ended up needing to be rescued. Despite this incident, Lennie brings an object of significance to George, making him feel important. Additionally, George uses Lennie as a way to justify the struggles he faces. The rest of the section discusses various themes and concerns related to social realism in “Of Mice and Men.” To read more, subscribe.
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