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How Does Steinbeck present the character of Lennie in Of Mice and Men?

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Introduction

How does Steinbeck present the character Lennie in Of Mice and Men? In Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck presents Lennie as a childlike character who relies on George. Although the reader quickly learns that Lennie "ain't smart," the reader also learns later in the novel that "he's a God damn good worker." Lennie, just like many itinerant farm workers from 1930s America, wants to achieve the American dream and "tend the rabbits." When we are first introduced to Lennie in Section One of the novel, we learn that Lennie is both strong but, at the same time, unintelligent. Steinbeck refers to Lennie as "a bear." A bear is an animal which has a lot of strength. ...read more.

Middle

When a parent is in a bad mood, a child tends to be scared to approach that parent because of fear at being shouted at. This is why Lennie looks "timidly" at George-because he is scared that he will be shouted at, just like a child. In addition to this, Lennie asks a lot of questions; something which children tend to do a lot. Again, this makes the reader feel slightly uncomfortable. This is because the reader may feel as though Lennie's childishness will result in him doing "a bad thing" later in the novel. Steinbeck makes it clear to the reader that Lennie relies on George for almost everything. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although this carelessness may make the reader feel angry towards Lennie, I would argue that the majority of readers would feel sympathetic towards Lennie. This is because Lennie "is in a panic" and, as explained previously in the novel, Lennie is childlike and has no idea how his actions will lead to consequences. In this way, I think it's fair to say that the reader feels sympathetic towards Lennie. The readers sympathy towards Lennie increases further in Section Six when Lennie, through his carelessness, saves a water snake from being eaten by a heron. In Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck presents Lennie as a childish character who is unintelligent. Although Lennie is unintelligent, he constantly works hard to achieve the American Dream, something which many men seeked to achieve in America in the 1930s. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This essay makes some good points but just as it starts to get going it ends and as a result feels like a very underdeveloped response. It is important that when points are made they are linked to one another rather than made in isolation.
The structure of the text also needs to be analysed as well as character exploration.

3 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 20/05/2013

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