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Of Mice and Men

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Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, is a story which shows how weak the human trait of loyalty can be if put through the test of time. It shows how people can turn on their family, best friend, and even their life-long companions if they are presented with the opportunity for advancement in life. This novel shows the reader the true animalistic nature of all humans through the use of highly developed characters as well a thoroughly developed story line. George is not a strong man physically, but what he is lacking physically he makes up for in his mentality. Although his abundance of mental strength does not become apparent until later in the story, it is fairly obvious from the beginning that his physical strength is lacking. Lennie, on the other hand, is physically "strong as a bull"(22), according to George, but mentally is a weak as George is physically. Together, as they travel from place to place looking for their chance at making their dream a reality, they use each other's strong points to help them complete the task. Without one another the two characters would have absolutely no chance at success, for what one is lacking the other has an ample amount of. ...read more.


He appreciates all of the joy and loyalty that his once great dog has brought to him during his life and is ready to let his friend now live out the rest of his natural life. Unfortunately that is not the way that some of the other people in the room see it. Carlson feels "This ol' dog jus' suffers hisself all the time. If you was to take him out and shoot him right in the back of the head... right there, why he'd never know what hit him"(45). Carlson even offers to give him a new dog to replace the one that he is about to destroy. The way that Candy sees it is that he is not hurting anyone and that there is no reason to have to end his life prematurely. Even though Candy loves his dog more than anything else in the world he chooses to let someone shoot his dog in the back of the head. After all that they had been through and all the years of loyal service that his supposed best friend had performed for Candy, when pressured into a decision, he chose to defy his loyal companion and make the decision on when he should die. This leads one to wonder why he made the decision that he did. ...read more.


This display of George's animalistic nature when presented the chance for advancement in life shows that loyalty, when put to the test, is never as strong as the person's desire to achieve his own dreams. Although Steinbeck is not trying to say that you can never trust the people that you call your friends, he is saying to be careful of those who call you a friend but only think of themselves while saying it. Even after spending the majority of his life calling Lennie a friend, George still betrayed him for the chance to become who he wanted to be. The animalistic nature of people tends to come out when they have the chance to seize what they believe is rightfully ours. So don't trust everyone who can trust you because everyone has got an agenda in life that shows us where they want to be. If you stand in the way of obtaining their goal they may be likely to step over you to get to it. As George has showed us, the human trait of loyalty can become very weak if put through the test of time, so avoid trying to test it so that you may not end up as Lennie did, being treated no better than an old man's dog. ...read more.

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