Of Mice and Men: Lennie Small

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Lennie Small has a very symbolic importance in the novel Of Mice and Men. In the novel George Milton and Lennie Small both migrant workers pursue their dream of someday owning their own ranch by traveling around working as ranch hands to earn a living. The dream they share is to be able to "live off the fat of the land," page 14. Lennie Small is a very complex character, although he may not appear to be at first glance. Lennie is the most interesting character in the novel because he differs from the other is many ways.

Lennie Small ironically is a man of large stature and very strong. He is child-like in his emotions and has a diminished mental capacity. Lennie's feelings are much like that of a normal person when you take into consideration that he is mentally retarded. One of Lennie's biggest concerns is that of a continued friendship with George. Throughout the novel their friendship is affirmed as Lennie states, "Because……because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you," page 14. Lennie has a distrust of people except for George. Also, Lennie is not always sure about what is right and what is wrong; he relies on George to make the distinction for him. Lennie lacks the understanding that his actions have consequences. This is seen when he holds on to his pet mouse so tightly that he kills it. Lennie walks his way through life completely oblivious to the dangers of the world holding on to the dream of someday owning a farm with his best friend George.

Lennie does not understand his own strength and also lacks the understanding of what is socially acceptable behavior. George realizes that the bad things that Lennie does are not committed out of meanness. Lennie knows that he doesn't fit in, for example Lennie says, "Well, I can go away, I'll go right off in the hills and find a cave." page 104. Lennie's fate symbolizes that he has become a menace to society. If you are unable to function within the norms of society than...
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