Of Mice and Men Chapter One : how does Steinbeck present the relationship between George and Lennie?

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Of Mice and Men

Re-read the end of Chapter One, from: 'George's voice became deeper. He repeated his words rhythmically as though he had said them many times before.' to the end. What does this tell us about the relationship between George and Lennie and why is it important to the novel?


In this novel Steinbeck present two ranch workers who dream of owning their own land. Many men in the 1930’s travelled around America in search of work. These men were often lonely, with no companionship. It is this migrant lifestyle which highlights the significance of the relationship between Lennie and George, which is perceived as a rarity amongst other characters.

George claims that ranch workers are ‘the loneliest guys in the world’. This is a result of the great depression in the 1930’s; men would travel alone to places such as California in search of work at a ranch. However, George and Lennie stay together, as Lennie says ‘I got you…and you got me’. This suggests their friendship gives them comfort and companionship, something which other ranch workers lack. Their relationship is perceived as surprising by their fellow workers, later on in the story. This emphasises its exclusivity.

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Steinbeck first presents the theme of dreams in this chapter of the novel. George and Lennie dream of being able to independently. Lennie is set on ‘tending rabbits’ whereas George focuses on freedom. As the story develops the reader begins to believe they will be successful. Steinbeck reveals that George and Lennie are dependent on one another. ‘With us it ain’t like that. We got a future.’  This demonstrates the uncommonness of their relationship. Even though George is the one who recites the dream speech, Lennie knows it off by heart, ‘an live of the fatta the lan!’ Lennie’s response ...

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