Of Mice and Men Analysis

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Power and Innocence Innocence can allow a person reign powerful over their peers, or powerless to their oppressors. In the Nobel Prize winning novel, Of Mice and Men, author John Steinbeck addresses the life of Lennie, a man who is perceived to have a mental disability, accompanied by his close childhood friend George. Throughout the novel Lennie distinguishes himself to be recognized as an unintentional innocent and powerless character. As the story progresses, George begins to shine a light on their perspective of Lennie. While discussing George’s relationship with Lennie, George recounts a time to Slim where, “[Lennie] near drowned before [George] could get him. An’ he was so damn nice to me for pulling him out. Clean forgot I told him to jump in” (Steinbeck 40). In this portion of the novel, George had already recognized how cruel he had been to Lennie in the past and recognized the fact that Lennie will always trust him whether or not he has put Lennie’s life in complete danger. In this situation with him drowning because George told him to jump in the water, it goes to show how much Lennie respects and trusts George. His trust and respect leads to him truly believing that whatever George tells him to do or what he actually does for himself is acceptable. With this in mind, Lennie knows not of what George is fully capable of doing to him, and he will almost never be responsible or directly involved in an event that will hurt him. In accordance to his drowning, he literally forgets that George told him to jump in and he cannot be self aware of himself at any moment even if he ends up almost killing himself. As the pair consider their work prospects on the new ranch, George explains to Lennie that, “if [The Boss] finds out what a crazy bastard you are, we won’t get no job, but if sees ya work before he hears ya talk, we’re set. Ya got that?” (Steinbeck 8).
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