In the 1900’s America was hit with the greatest economic downfall the country has ever seen, dubbed the Great Depression. This period in time sets the stage for the novella Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Through the main character George Milton, John demonstrates his naturalistic ideals and belief in Determinism. A deeper look at the character, George Milton, brings forth his role as the protagonist in the book, his dream in the book and the purpose of his action in regards to Lennie’s death.
Just by reading the first few pages of the book it becomes apparent that he plays the role of the protagonist in the novella. It is almost undisputed that, anomalies aside, that George is Lennie’s protector and friend. He means no harm and he almost always acts with his friend’s disabilities and needs in mind. A prime example is the fact that George stays by Lennie even after saying, “if I was alone I could live so easy. I could go get a job an’ work, an’ no trouble. No mess at all…’ ‘An’ whatta I got,’ George went on furiously. ‘I got you! You can’t keep a job and you lose me ever’ job I get. Jus’ keep me shovin’ all over the country all the time’”(103). One must keep in mind that George knows the benefits that leaving Lennie will bear and still stays by Lennie’s side. Also, George took offence to Slim’s comment about Lennie being a “cuckoo”(39) and defends Lennie, playing the devil’s advocate and fighting for those who can’t defend themselves.
Throughout the novella George’s dream becomes a point of controversy and motif. He wishes to “live of the fat of the land” with Lennie. Throughout the book four men shared this dream other than George and Lennie, Candy and Crooks were also intrigued. But when things boil down it is a simple fact that George had the most to lose if things went awry and indeed they did. It was obvious that all four of the men were affected negatively when the plan ended up awry, Candy was even caught cursing at the thought of the dream...
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