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How does the author make Lennie a sympathetic character?

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How does the author make Lennie a sympathetic character? In "Of Mice and Men" John Steinback makes Lennie a sympathetic character by his description of his character as well as his physical appearance. Lennie is also revealed by the author through the other characters� perceptions of him and how Lennie interacts with them. Lennie's attitude and actions are not the same towards all the characters in the story. He gets along well with some of the characters in the story and with some he doesn't. The first impression the reader gets of Lennie is ironically his size. He is described as "opposite" to George with "...a huge man, shapeless of face, with large, pale eyes, with wide sloping shoulders and he walked heavily". But we are contradicted in this. John Stienbeck uses descriptions of animals to describe Lennie. When he drinks water from the pool his action is described as "snorting into the water like a horse". When he moves and walks he is described as a "bear" when it drags its paws. He is described by John Steinbeck as a very simple character who has the innocence of a small boy who doesn't know how much harm he is doing to the rat or in Lennie's case to Curley's wife. ...read more.


So, Lennie is a friendly person who doesn't understand how strong he is or the consequences of his strength. Therefore, Lennie is described as a simple person who has low intelligence but also a very strong person. Another consequense of his simplicity is that he depends on George to help and guide him over small things. He needs George to take care of his work permit. Lennie cannot differentiate between things which are right and wrong and needs George to help him with that. For example, Lennie doesn't realise that Curley's wife is a seductive woman and he often speaks to her. But he stops speaking to her after George tells him that "Don't you even take a look at that bitch. I don't care what she says and what she does....but I never seen no piece of jailbait worse tan her." He makes him understand that and tells him not to speak to her. He makes him realise that she isn't the right type of woman to talk to. Another consequence is when Lennie is drinking water from the pool and is told off by George to not to drink from it. He says because "its scummy". He treats him like a child and needs to be told every moment to what to do and what not to do ...read more.


For example when George leaves him and goes to the bar, he cannot be by himself. The only person whom he knows who doesn't go out is Crook because he is regarded as a "nigger" by the farm hands. The people in the farm regard him as that all black men are "crooks". He is different from the other farm hands because the farm members treat him as an outcast as he is "black". Therefore, from what I have read and analysed I can say that George stands as a father for Lennie as he takes care of him, serves him food, tells him the difference between right and wrong. As a consequence of all these factors, the final scene is heart breaking for the reader when George shoots Lennie. He himself chooses to shoot Lennie because a father would rather shoot his son himself rather than let anyone else shoot him. He tells Lennie to go over and tell him about the dream while he aims the gun behind him to shoot him. This is a very sad and controversial scene because Lennie is dreaming about having his own farm where he can tend his favorite animals like the rabbits, rats, etc whereas George goes through a very bad moment in which he has to shoot his best mate. Lennie himself doesn't know that his best friend is going to shoot him. ...read more.

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