Of Mice and Men Comparing Lennie and George

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The novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck begins with two men, George Milton and Lennie Small, walking to a nearby ranch looking for work. The story is set in California in the grip of the Great Depression, where machinery was beginning to replace ranch hands. Steinbeck shows the common mans journey through the brutal times showing obstacles and pitfalls and varying human handicaps. He shows us the reality that a human world contains jealousy, cruelty, loneliness and shattered dreams. The two main characters are George Milton and Lennie Small. George is described as being small in stature with very sharp features. Georges personality demonstrates both anger, frustration and understanding. George thinks things through, sees possible problems. He is a migrant worker who cares for and protects Lennie. George dreams of owning his own land and paints this picture to Lennie who shares this dream. George takes responsibility for Lennies life ultimately not only this but his death. “Well we aint got any” George expoloded. “Whatever we aint got, that’s what you want. God a’mighty, if I was alone I could live so easy” George is just lashing out at Lennie he wouldn’t be without him. (page 28) Lennie Small, is a migrant worker who is mentally handicapped, small in name but enormous in stature, he is described as shapeless and that he lumbers like a bear and is as strong as one but his actions are often described like those of a dog. “he walked heavily dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws. His arms did not swing at his sides, but hung loosely” (page 19) This is an example of Lennie being compared to an animal, a bear no less, a massive occasionally violent creature. Lennie completely and utterly depends on George to give him advice and protect him in situations he doesn’t understand. He has considerable strength which can be a concern particularly as
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