Of Mice and Men Essay on Lennie

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Explore the ways Lennie is presented and developed in Of Mice and Men Although Lennie is among the main characters in ‘Of Mice and Men’, he is perhaps the least self-motivated. He experiences no significant changes, development, or growth throughout the novel and remains exactly as the reader encounters him in the opening pages. Throughout this essay I will be explaining the different aspects of his character. Although Steinbeck’s insistent foreshadowing of these characteristics makes Lennie a rather simple character, Lennie’s simplicity is essential to Steinbeck’s idea of the novel. Since the tragedy depends upon the outcome seeming to be expected, we as the reader must know from the start that Lennie is doomed, and must be sympathetic to him. Steinbeck achieves these two feats by creating a character who earns the reader’s sympathy because of his utter helplessness in the face of the events that unfold. Lennie is totally defenceless, he cannot avoid the dangers presented by Curley, Curley’s wife, or the world at large, ‘Curley’s fist was swinging when Lennie reached for it.’ Representing his tragic flaw this extract clearly shows that Lennie has no control over his strength which is making the ending more foreseeable. But he is a character whom Steinbeck sets up for disaster, a character whose innocence only seems to ensure his inevitable destruction. Steinbeck also portrays Lennie as a violent man throughout the novel by making the character of Lennie unable to control his violence. Compared to the other characters, Lennie reveals an unintentional violence. He does not even think to fight back when Curley attacks him, but when he does; it is with immense and uncontrollable force. He has so little control over his own strength that he accidentally kills his puppy, and then minutes later kills Curley's wife. His actions on these occasions are compared to those of an animal, powerful but thoughtless, ‘…a little dead puppy that lay in front of him…his huge...
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