Explore the Relationships Between George and Lennie in of Mice and Men

Topics: Great Depression, John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men Pages: 4 (1264 words) Published: April 9, 2013
How does Steinbeck present Lennie and George’s friendship in Of Mice and Men?

“Of Mice and Men” was written by John Steinbeck in 1937 to illustrate the pain and miseries of migrant workers during the Great Depression in America and to illustrate that the American Dream lacked possibility. In “Of Mice and Men”, Steinbeck presents Lennie’s and George’s relationship in a variety of different ways. Steinbeck depicts the George and Lennie’s companionship through body language, speech, description of the place as well as contrasting other characters’ attitudes towards their relationship. The word relationship is described in the Oxford Dictionary “as the way in which two or more people or groups regard and behave towards each other”. This essay will explore how Steinbeck presents Lennie and George’s companionship throughout “Of Mice and Men”.

Firstly, in “Of Mice and Men”, friendship is presented through body language between Lennie and George. Steinbeck conveys this feature through Lennie’s constant deferential behaviour towards George. This becomes increasingly visible through Steinbeck portraying Lennie as being simple minded and infantile and by Steinbeck conveying Lennie “like a kid”. By Steinbeck writing “his face grew tight with thought” he underlines that Lennie is incapable of surviving on his own, and constantly needs to seek George’s approval. We also realise in the opening chapter of the novella that Lennie idolises George. This is revealed through Steinbeck writing that “Lennie, who had been watching, imitated George exactly.” Steinbeck included this to illustrate that Lennie cannot control himself, and has no moral judgement. Things are good or bad to Lennie depending on what George thinks of them. In addition, Steinbeck wants the audience to realise that Lennie and George essentially become foils for each other. This is because both Lennie and George are mutually dependant characters in the novella, where they need each to in order to survive in...
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