Lennie Small - of Mice and Men

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Firstly Lennie's personality is like that of a child. He is innocent and mentally handicapped with no ability to understand abstract concepts like death. While he acts with great loyalty to George, he has no comprehension of the idea of "loyalty." For that reason, he often does not mean to do the things that get him into trouble, and once he does get into trouble, he has no conscience to define his actions in terms of guilt.

John Steinbeck portrays the character Lennie as the follower, and never the leader. The phrase “even in the open one stayed behind the other” describes the relationship between Lennie and George and indicates that Lennie relies on George for support and guidance. It also implies that Lennie needs constant support because even though it is daytime, Lennie still cannot fend for himself.

Moreover the author uses his words to paint a picture and describes Lennie as “a huge man, shapeless of face”. This image gives us the idea that Lennie is so large that he doesn’t quite know what to do with himself and he just stumbles around with a lost expression. It also compliments and indicates that Lennie is quite a shapeless character and not well defined as a person. Steinbeck portrays Lennie’s partner George as “small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes”. This is an immediate contrast to Lennie’s character because it shows that George is the opposite of Lennie; his character is well defined and alert. This makes us understand better why Lennie feels the need to stand behind George all the time and rely on someone who is more alert than he is.

John Steinbeck uses animal imagery to give the impression that Lennie always stumbled and did not know what to do with himself. The quote “dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws” gives the audience the image that Lennie just slugs around and was so large and disconnected that he couldn’t pick up his feet.   Steinbeck comparing him to   a bear implies that he wanted the audience...
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