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FRIENDSHIP IN OF MICE AND MEN

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Introduction

The relationship between Lennie and George Of Mice and Men is a novella written by Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck. Published in 1937, it tells the tragic story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers during the Great Depression in California. Based on Steinbeck's own experiences in the 1920s, the title is taken from Robert Burns's poem, To a Mouse, which read: "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men /Gang aft agley." As the novella is revolved around the two characters, one of the things that stand out the most is the relationship both the characters share with each other and how it appears to be of a strong bond, even with the obstacles that gets thrown their way. Their connection is of many different kinds and I shall list in detail a few of the many types. As Steinbeck originally wrote the story as a play, there are lots of adverbs that help us to imagine how the characters act and react, which helps to establish their relationship in the opening chapter. We can imagine that many of these adverbs were originally written as speech directions. For example, after shouting at Lennie, the author describes how George reacts 'ashamedly'. This shows his sense of guilt for becoming angry with Lennie as he knows his friend does not truly understand. George is keen to protect Lennie and feels ashamed when he is the one putting him in a state of fear or anxiety. ...read more.

Middle

The word "behind" is used twice to show the status of the characters, George was behind someone already but instead of Lennie standing beside him he was behind him, showing that Lennie was already of a lower status once they had arrived. This may also show that George seems to be protecting George which suggests Lennie is quite weak mentally. In chapter 3 we get a better understanding of Lennie's mentality, how they came to be together and what their relationship used to be like in comparison to how it is now. For example, we learn that George used to play tricks on Lennie and take advantage of his backward behaviour, but then George talks about a certain event that changes his behaviour towards his large friend. '"Tell you what made me stop that. One day a bunch of guys was standin' around up on the Sacramento River. I was feelin' pretty smart. I turns to Lennie and says, 'jump in.' An' he jumps. Couldn't swim a stroke. He damn near drowned before we could get him. An' he was so damn nice to me for pullin' him out. Clean forgot I told him to jump in. Well, I ain't done anything like that no more".' This quote quite clearly shows how George used to take advantage of the fact that Lennie was not all there and not as smart as other people. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lennie longed for peace and safety. George wished to have a leisurely life and Crooks hoped for a world where he was not discriminated against. Throughout the novel, these dreams were changed and sometimes even forgotten. Because of this, Steinbeck gives the impression that the American dream can never truly be fulfilled to the dreamer's original standards. Throughout the novella George has always shown trust and protectiveness when it comes to Lennie and always reassures him when he has done a guilty act. Pg 104. George doesn't kill Lennie out of anger, but he doesn't seem to do it out of justice, either. It seems that George has no choice but to kill Lennie. The same way George has protected and guided Lennie throughout life, he now leads him into death. George is confined by choice, and Lennie is freed by death. It makes the reader feel kind-hearted towards George as this is the first time we have really seen him do a good deed towards Lennie that doesn't have an advantage to himself. In the tragic world of the novella 'Of mice and men' Steinbeck portrays the relationship between the protagonist known as George Milton and the foil also known as Lennie Small. H explored the ways in which society during the Great Depression not only had an effect in the economy but also the relationships people are in and who with. He described how the effects of people's emotions cloud their judgement and the consequences they have to make. ...read more.

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