Of Mice and Men Importance of Friendship George and Lennie

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Of Mice and Men has many themes presented by Steinbeck, one of which is about friendship. The novella shows the relationship between the protagonists, George and Lennie, and showing how they try to achieve the American Dream by working together. This is in contrast to many of the other characters who are alone by themselves which seems to be the norm at the time of the Great Depression. The reader is able to look at how the need to have a companion is portrayed by Steinbeck, especially during the harsh economic times that the story is set in. The reliance that George and Lennie have on one another is able to emphasise on how it is only the friendship between the two of them which allows them to survive. Lennie saying ‘I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you.’ is underlying the true reliance that both George and Lennie have for one another. Lennie also sees his friend ‘he pulled his hat down more over his eyes the way George’s hat was.’ as a role model and sees him as guidance as to how to live his own life. George needs Lennie as much as Lennie needs George despite Lennie being the one who is mentally challenged and in need of constant supervising. Steinbeck also uses the character Lennie to refer to how it should society should be collectively looking after the vulnerable in society rather than George having to look after him by himself. Thus the reliance of each of the main characters on one another emphasises how important the friendship is in keeping both them and the novella together. The friendship is also portrayed by Steinbeck as he is opposing the idea of people working just by themselves. “Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world.  They got no family.  They belong no place…they ain’t got nothing to look ahead to.”  is showing what Steinbeck sees of the idea of itinerant workers being by themselves. This is despite the fact it would have much likely to be easier during the time of the Great Depression...
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