Of Mice and Men Relationships

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The novel ‘Of mice and Men’ is written by John Steinbeck, set in the 1930’s, America, during the Great Depression. The theme of the novel is of two men (George and Lennie)  Steinbeck introduces the two characters, George and Lennie, in the opening section of the novel. From this dialogue-“You drink some, George”- the reader is able to establish an understanding of the two characters’ relationship. ‘One stayed behind the other’, is the first indication that one take more of a lead in the relationship than the other, and more evidence to support this: ‘Lennie imitated him exactly’. Steinbeck goes on to describe the first man to be ‘small and quick’, whereas ‘behind him walked his opposite, a huge man’. It would be thought the larger man would lead, to protect. The two men are described as ‘Both were dressed in denim trousers and in denim coats...and both carried tight blanket rolls’. This shows they are similar in the way they are both itinerant workers. However they differ with appearance: George is explained to have ‘sharp features’, and Lennie to be his opposite ‘shapeless of face’. Steinbeck uses their appearance to show how completely different they are with everything, George has a sharp, quick mind, while on the other hand Lennie is rather simple minded.  Steinbeck presents George and Lennie’s relationship very much like that of a father and sons. George looks after Lennie’s work card as George knows Lennie well enough not to trust him with it: “think I’d let you carry your own work card?” George also looks out for Lennie and tries to protect him- ‘you never oughta drink water when it ain’t running’, which is evidence to show he is like a father, advising Lennie. Steinbeck emphasises the theme of George and Lennie being like a father and son further by George praising Lennie to build Lennie’s self esteem: “Good boy, that’s it”. 
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