All people have basic needs, which come in the form of food, water, and shelter. Individuals do what they do what they can to survive and are usually not criticized. John Steinbeck explores this concept in his novel Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck likens Lennie to an animal to illustrate that his decisions and actions are simply instinctual. Early in the novel, Steinbeck compares Lennie to an animal. When Lennie and George arrive by the pool in the brush, Lennie instantly heads for the water. “His [George’s] companion dropped his blankets and flung himself down and drank from the surface of the green pool; drank with long gulps, snorting into the water like a horse” (3). This simile indicates Lennie’s animal-like behavior. Lennie does not recognize or care that the water remains still and may contain unsanitary elements. As a basic need, drinking water out of the pool serves the purpose of likening Lennie to an animal like a horse which consumes large quantities of water because they are big and work just like Lennie.
Examples from worksheet to use in paper:
1. Steinbeck describes Lennie as being like a horse when he drinks. Like an animal, he is simply answering a basic need.
2. Steinbeck’s simile that compares Lennie to a bear conveys to mixture of brute strength and innocence.
3. Steinbeck again likens Lennie to a bear with paws during the confrontation with Curley. Here, Lennie shows only an animal’s sense of self-protection. He is not aggressive though it is interesting to note that Curley is compared to a rat.
4. When Lennie claims that he will go and live in a cave, and George states that someone will shoot him, the author is suggesting Lennie’s similarity to a wild animal.