Of Mice and Men Literary Analysis

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The Quintessence of Love and Loss
Throughout life, many of our journeys leave us feeling despondent and unwanted. It is when we travel with another human soul that we are not left feeling so austere. In John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, George and Lennie are two wandering souls, both very different in stature and appearance, yet very alike in spirit. It is in this relationship that the true foundation of companionship is expressed.

In the beginning of Steinbeck’s novella, George and Lennie have set up camp and are starting to cook supper. Lennie annoys George by stating a simple luxury, and George recoils by exclaiming he could “live so easy. [He] could go get job an’ work, an’ no trouble” (11). After an explosion from George, like a child caught stealing from the cookie jar, a bewildered Lennie responds sheepishly when he says that he “don’t want no ketchup. I wouldn’t eat no ketchup if it was right here beside me” (12). This shows Lennie’s passive attitude toward George, and his want for serenity. Lennie is blindly committed to his image of George and the little farm articulately molded in his mind. Lennie’s tranquil outlook on reality leads to his demise, but also helps create an inner façade that contradicts his outward appearance, which makes his intangible character beautiful beyond comparison.

George’s first words, “Lennie! . . . you gonna be sick like you was last night” (3), reveal the quality of his friendship shared with Lennie. While this is indeed an firm warning, it proves the devoted love George has for Lennie. Though George makes numerous remonstrations against his life involving Lennie, he never fails to maintain his dedication to protecting his friend. Whenever Lennie asks him to retell the farm story, he snaps “you ain’t gonna put nothing over on me” (13). However, his constant snub to retell the story of the farm always wavers, showing the importance of George’s need to feel desired. George actually believes in this farm that has been...
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