Analyzing the Character of Lennie in Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men

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Samidha Lama
Pd. 2 Ghastin

As I read the first chapter of Steinbeck’s book, Of Mice and Men, it definitely succeeded to establish Lennie as a sympathetic character. Lennie has a big body with a shapeless face and large pale eyes with wide sloped shoulders and, he walks dragging his arms and feet. He is also portrayed as a mindless childlike character that likes tender and soft creatures such as mice. Lennie is different from other characters in the book, because he seemed so large yet innocent.

In the beginning of the novel, readers could see that Lennie in some way has a mental disability. One example is, when Lennie says, "You ain't gonna leave me, are ya George?" This almost has an adult and a child feel to it. As he is displayed as an innocent child who looks up to George as his faithful protector. Moving on, when Lennie is petting a dead mouse in his pocket and George takes it, he starts to cry. “Blubberin’ like a baby? Jesus Christ! A big guy like you”. In this incident, readers can feel very sympathetic towards Lennie, as George makes fun of him, and this reflects on how the first chapter was able to succeed on giving the readers the emotional field of Lennie as a sympathetic character.

As the constant childlike behavior and lack of not knowing what goes on around him, readers feel more sympathetic towards Lennie. This is because it is easier for us to feel sympathy towards poor and someone with childlike characteristics than someone with fame, fortune and, intelligence. As this goes on, we would feel pity for them and continue reading to find out what happens next.
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