English 9 E
November 27, 2007
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck: Characterization of George
George is calm and collected, despite his solemn mood after Curley¡¯s wife is discovered dead. In that moment, the ill-fated protagonist begins to understand what must be done and prepares himself for the final stretch, and yet his hand is trembling as he points the barrel of the gun to the back of Lennie¡¯s head. Logical, clever but fiercely loyal and compassionate, George Milton is clearly a round and dynamic character. He begins as an idealist; full of dreams of a better life; but he cannot evade the real world forever. As fate catches up with George, the stunning realism of the tale hit both the readers and the protagonist as a hard fact of life. George faces various challenges throughout the novel, and Steinbeck¡¯s vivid descriptions made his character come to life. George¡¯s distinguishing personality traits which he displays in the book are compassion, cleverness and idealism.
George¡¯s compassion played a major role in helping him overcome his challenges. Shooting Lennie for George is a difficult task for they had shared so much together, but he, is as aware of the necessity of Lennie¡¯s untimely demise as much as everyone else. George is at first hopeful that ¡°They¡¯ll lock ¡®im up an¡¯ be nice to ¡®im¡± (94). His bond with Lennie is an obstacle to this challenge as the two are as close as biological brothers ¨C perhaps even closer. Because George does not want Lennie to suffer, he knows that he has only one choice: Shoot Lennie himself. George¡¯s compassion helped him overcome his emotional barriers that are keeping him from doing what is best. In this situation, George¡¯s cleverness did not come into play, but it did in many others.
George displays his cleverness in many challenging and tight situations. He becomes aware immediately that Lennie is somewhat interested in Curley¡¯s wife and warned him to stay away from her. The...