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In chapter one of Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck creates contrasting characters of George and Lennie

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Introduction

The relationship between George and Lennie is very close throughout the book. Of mice and men is set in the 1930s depression years in America. This means that their relationship was under a lot of strain. It was unusual in those times to be able to sustain friendships because life was all about living for the moment after America's great loss. In chapter one of ?Of Mice and Men? John Steinbeck creates contrasting characters of George and Lennie. George and Lennie have quite different personalities that sometimes clash. On one hand George can be authoritative over Lennie, whilst Lennie at times can portray child like behaviour. Their relationship can be described as ever changing. Sometimes they can be affectionate towards each other, but at other times George can have a great influence over Lennie. George is a very independent character, he wants to do things by himself but can?t as he has Lennie as a burden on him. He is a kind, caring man, which is apparent in the way he takes care of Lennie. ...read more.

Middle

It comforts Lennie to hear the words again. George sometimes does things to try and relate to Lennie and please him as he knows that he is not with it mentally; this shows he is affectionate towards him and cares for the best of him. George mentions that guys who work on ranches are ?the loneliest guys in the world?. Although he goes on to argue that he and Lennie have each other and so are not lonely, this quotation is interesting because it introduces the theme of loneliness. Most of the people they meet at the ranch the following day are lonely, like Crooks, the Negro stable-buck who is isolated because of his colour, Curley?s wife, who is in a loveless marriage with no friends around her, and Candy, who loses his only companion when his dog is shot. We realise how important George and Lennie?s friendship is when we compare them to the others. Crooks puts it simply: ?It?s just being with another gut. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yet they also foreshadow that something might happen that will make Lennie need to take George?s advice. We found out earlier in chapter one that the pair had to escape Weed because of the repercussions when Lennie ?Jus? wanted to feel that girls? dress? and so we?re prepared for something similar to happen. This adds a lot of tension to the story and the suspense it creates makes a good ending to the chapter. Chapter one concludes with a description of the sunset. ?As the sun blaze dropped from the fire the sphere of light grew smaller.? This is symbolic, as ? unknowingly ? George and Lennie are reaching the ?sunset? of their relationship. In just a few days time, Lennie will be killed in this spot. However, despite the approaching night, there is still life in the brush ? they hear a coyote ?yammer?, a dog answer and the sycamore leaves ?whispering?. All this suggest that life does go on, in spite of everything, so perhaps the end of the novel should not be seen as altogether tragic. ...read more.

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