Is Lennie Responsible for His Actions in of Mice and Men Essay

Topics: Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck, Great Depression Pages: 4 (1441 words) Published: April 10, 2013
Throughout the novel, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck presents Lennie to be responsible and also irresponsible for his actions. Sometimes throughout the novel, Steinbeck presents Lennie to be irresponsible for his actions because life at the time was very difficult. People were losing their jobs, many farmers lost their farms, and were forced into the life of itinerant workers. The lifestyle Lennie had could be responsible for his actions, because he didn’t really have support. However on the other hand you could also argue that all the other men lived the same lifestyle as him and they took responsibility for their actions, you could also argue that Lennie had more support than any other ranch worker, because he had George taking care of him and acting like a fatherly figure towards Lennie.

Steinbeck shows through Lennie’s first entrance into the novel how he is acting irresponsible. “They had walked in single file down the path,” This shows how George is a fatherly figure towards Lennie, rather than a companion. We see how Lennie relies on George to make the decisions and Lennie will follow George and copy him, “Lennie ... imitated George exactly.” However, when Lennie is left to his own devices he acts irresponsibly and doesn’t know what to do. The outcome of the situation he is in is always bad when he is left to decide something, for example the death of the mouse, puppy and Curley’s wife. This proves how Lennie is responsible for his own actions. Steinbeck illustrates Lennie’s character to be, “ a huge man,” this shows how Lennie’s strength could be responsible for his actions, because when the mouse bit him, he would “nip it,” gently but with Lennie’s strength, it killed the mouse, proving Lennie to not be responsible for his actions. John Steinbeck uses animal imagery to portray Lennie, “the way a bear drags his paws”, “snorting into the pool like a horse” and “dabbled his big paw.” The use of animal imagery describing Lennie shows how he lacks mental...
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