George and Lennies Relationship (This Is Only a Rough Outline and May Need Alterations)

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  • Topic: John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, Great Depression
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  • Published : October 24, 2011
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The relationship of George and Lennie is that of brotherhood. While George essays to protect Lennie as an older brother would, he does, in fact, fail at times as would a sibling who assumes such a role. While Lennie does fear George somewhat, his fear resembles that of a younger sibling for an older one, rather than a parent. For,his perception is clearly that they are friends, and, thus, equals. When he asks George to tell him "how it is with us," and George describes how they have "somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us," Lennie breaks in describing their reciprocal relationship, "But not us! An' why? Because...because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that's why." Each man provides something for the other that he lacks. With George, Lennie provides love and trust and, above all, the sustaining of the dream. For, once Lennie who truly believes in the dream is gone, so, too, does the dream die, since Lennie is the keeper of ithe dream. For Lennie, George is the thinker and the planner. George is clearly a good friend to Lennie because he protects him from the dangers in life. This is shown in the quote George said “suppose he don’t wanna talk” and “we travel together”. This shows the reader two thing: George is clearly a good friend to Lennie because he protects him from the dangers in life. This is shown in the quote George said “suppose he don’t wanna talk” and “we travel together”. This shows the reader two things:

After drinking from the pool, when they are sat on the hill Lennie imitates George’s actions “he pulled his hat down a little more over his eyes the way George’s hat was.” Our immediate interpretation is that Lennie looks up to George as a role model, the quote “way George’s hat was” suggests he acts just like him and mimics him how a son would to a father. “Lennie looked timidly over to him. “George?” “Yeah, what ya want?” “Where we goin’ George?”… “So you forgot that already did you?”” this implies that without George, Lennie would be hopeless and would get no where because he would always be lost. When Lennie says “where we goin’” he sounds slightly worried, this will be because he knows that George will get angry at him because he is constantly having to remind him on the objective. The word “already” suggests that Lennie is always forgetting things and George is getting more and more fed up. The word “timidly” implies that George often gets angry with Lennie and now Lennie has learnt to approach him differently when he is angry so he wont get as upset. This implies their friendship is strong as they know how to approach each other.  

Chapter 2 shows a developing relationship between George and Lennie, regardless of their differences in mentality. Immediately from the beginning it becomes evident that George is the dominant member of their relationship, and Lennie is his inferior.

“Behind him came George, and behind George, Lennie.”

Steinbeck uses this sentence to highlight how obedient Lennie was to George, and how he walked behind him, not only as an inferior, but almost like a pet; which shows that Lennie is dependant on George to know what to do. The word “behind” is used twice to show the status of the characters, George was behind someone already but instead of Lennie standing beside him he was behind him, showing that Lennie was already of a lower status once they had arrived. This may also show that George seems to be protecting George which suggests Lennie is quite weak mentally.  “Lennie looked helplessly at George for instruction.”

The word “helplessly” shows that Lennie depends on George for support and implies that they have a strong relationship because Lennie not only trusts George to help him, but depends on him to get him out of tight situations. This links into the context as George has to instruct and speak for Lennie, as at the time there would have been a prejudice for...
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