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Compare the way that Charlotte Bronte and John Steinbeck show the theme of friendship as shown by Jane Eyre and Helen Burns in “Jane Eyre” and Lennie Small and George Milton in “Of Mice and Men”.

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Introduction

Compare the way that Charlotte Bronte and John Steinbeck show the theme of friendship as shown by Jane Eyre and Helen Burns in "Jane Eyre" and Lennie Small and George Milton in "Of Mice and Men" The theme of friendship is so important in both "Of Mice and Men" and "Jane Eyre" because it helps the characters to survive emotionally. Friendships are important because they help people socialise which stops them from feeling isolated and lonely. Another reason why friendship is important is because of the mutual trust and reliance. Loyalty is also a very important element of friendship. Jane Eyre is a young girl of ten years old, whose mother and father died when she was very young. No blood relative was around to look after her so she was put into the care of her aunt, Mrs Reed. She falls foul of Mrs Reed and her children and is soon segregated from their company, being accused of " appalling behaviour". As punishment for this Jane is sent to Lowood institute, for orphaned girls. She soon meets her future best friend, Helen Burns. It was made clear early on in the novel that Jane was segregated from Mrs Reed's children. ...read more.

Middle

" Do you come along way from here?" " You must wish to leave Lowood?" " But that teacher Miss Scatcherd, is so cruel to you?" George and Lennie become companions, When Lennie's aunt Clara asked George to look after Lennie just she died. There relationship is that of a father and son. This is clear when we see George lecturing Lennie over killing both a mouse and a puppy - " That mouse ain't fresh Lennie besides, you've broke it pettin' it ". Another example of this is the way that Lennie keeps asking George to tell him about what it would be like if they had land - " Now tell how it is with us" Lennie says George replies saying " Were gonna get the jack together and we're gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an' a cow and some pigs" Jane and Helens relationship is that of an older and younger sister. Helen passes on advice and words of wisdom to Jane while Jane helps Helen to be more outspoken and less reserved. Helen Burns and Jane Eyre know how to hold a conversation unlike George and Lennie who have to put up with awkward silences throughout the story. ...read more.

Conclusion

All the characters share a dream whether it's George and Lennie's dream to have their own land or Jane and Helen's to be free and make their own decisions. John Steinbeck shocks the audience in the last chapter in the way that Lennie dies. It was obvious that Lennie would soon get into trouble; we know that trouble follows Lennie around because of the incidents in "weed" and the fight with Curley. We learn that the reason George kills Lennie is to save him from being hurt and tortured by the witch hunting mob led by Curley. Lennie's downfall was how he didn't know his own strength. Both characters die peacefully; Lennie dies thinking of his dream about feeding rabbits alfalfa on his own land while Helen dies pleased because she has taught Jane everything she knows. Both Charlotte Bronte and John Steinbeck use imagery to represent the friendships between characters. Examples of this is when the weather is wet, misty or dark it means the characters have fallen out or are going through a bad patch. When the weather is warm and sunny it shows the characters are getting along well and are happy. Finally I think the authors want us to reminisce on the friendships between the characters and how we would cope if we were in their shoes. Emmet Murphy 11K GCSE ENGLISH 2002 ...read more.

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