Explore the Way the Writer Presents the Relationship Between George and Lennie in “of Mice and Men”

Topics: Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck, Great Depression Pages: 9 (3921 words) Published: April 12, 2013
Explore the way the writer presents the relationship between George and Lennie in “Of Mice and Men” Of Mice and Men was written in the 1937 by John Steinbeck, he other well know books as the Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden, h also received a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. This book is set in the 1930s and set in California, his home region. During this time, the USA was suffering from a great depression, this meant that it was hard to find job because the economy was very weak, so to find job the men were disposed to go anywhere and the bosses would exploit their workers. The itinerant ranch workers where very lonely people because they had to move from place to place and tis meant that they could set up a stable life with a wife and children. Another reason that suggests to us that they are lonely is that at the end of each month they take their money and they go to “cat house”. The character of George and Lennie are very unusual and contrasting, this is because they have a strong relationship between them and they also have a dream, a dream of buying a house and some land to become independent and to life together for the rest of their lives. But the reader knows from the beginning that this will not happen and it will have a tragic end, and this is suggested in the title “Of Mice and Men” that comes from a from Robert Burns poem “The best laid schemes o’mice an’ men/ Gang aft agley” and it means: the best laid schemes of mice and men/ often go awry. As soon as the reader starts reading Chapter 1, he or she will immediately gain an understanding of the relationship between George and Lennie. In chapter 1, John Steinbeck includes a description of the appearances, the personalities and the relationship between the main characters. Steinbeck uses contrasting characterization in the description of their appearance when he says “The first man was small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp, strong features. Every part of him was defined: small, strong hands, slender arms, a thin and bony nose. Behind him walked his opposite, a huge man, shapeless of face with large, ale eyes, and wide, sloping shoulders”(page4, the fisrt men-drags his paws). From this we can learn that they are the opposite. George is short and a bit weak but intelligent, by in contrast, Lennie is tall and strong, but has learning difficulties. Furthermore, George and Lennie’s paralanguage is used very efficiently to show the relationship between the protagonists ‘Lennie, who had been watching, imitated George exactly. He pushed himself back, drew up his knees, embraced them, and looked over to George to see whether he had it just right. He pulled his hat down a little more over his eyes, the way George’s hat was.” ( Page5, Lennie-George’s hat was) From this we can see that Lennie behaviour is like the one of a child and he need a parent figure. In this case George is his parent figure because; Lennie mimes whatever he does like a child would do towards his dad. Steinbeck also uses dialogue to enhance the reader’s sense of relationship between the protagonists “You never had none, you crazy bastard. I got both of ‘em here. Think I’d let you carry your own work card?”(page7, You never-Work card?) And from this we can see again that George treats Lennie like a child not giving him responsibility to even carry his own work card. Finally, the writer uses animal imagery to emphasise the relationship between the main characters and to make the reader feel a sense of how this relationship might impact the way the novel will develop. Lennie is described using animal imagery, for example ‘the way a bear drags his paws’ from this comparison towards a bear we can learn that Lennie is an enormous person with strength of a wild animal, this hints that he may be vilest later on in the book Additionally, animals are used as a foreshadowing device, because we can see that that they are disturbing the normal life of the things around them, In this case...
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