|They had walked in single file down the path, and even in the open one stayed behind the other. Both were dressed in denim | |trousers and in denim coats with brass buttons. Both wore black, shapeless hats and both carried tight blanket rolls slung | |over their shoulders. (1.4) |
From the first sight of Lennie and George, a dynamic in their relationship is established. Though the men are outwardly of the same class (wearing identical clothes and carrying identical gear), one still walks behind the other. George is, of course, the leader, but it seems he doesn’t value himself as necessarily superior to Lennie; they’re both in it together.
|Lennie, who had been watching, imitated George exactly. He pushed himself back, drew up his knees, embraced them, 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. (1.10) |
Lennie may need George to be the brains of the operation, but it seems like Lennie’s mimicry isn’t just an attempt to "pass" in the civilized world. The innocence of Lennie’s action, which is done with no one around but George and himself, indicates that Lennie simply admires his friend. He looks up to George (and what George does) the way a little kid dotes on an older brother.
|LENNIE "I was only foolin’, George. I don’t want no ketchup. I wouldn’t eat no ketchup if it was right here beside me." | | | |GEORGE "If it was here, you could have some." | |...