What do Steinbeck’s first description of George and Lennie tell us about their characters? Discuss this in the regards to the role/relationship of Itinerant workers in the 1930’s Great Depression:
In the 1930’s itinerant workers were migrant workers who travelled from land to land to find jobs, any occupation available to allow them to fend for themselves and survive in the disastrous world, they were living in at the time. We know George and Lennie are migrant workers due to the period of time the novella is based on. It was a catastrophic world as it was when The Great Depression occurred, unemployment and recession increased vigorously. Bearing this in mind, the way in which Steinbeck’s first description of George and Lennie, at the beginning of the novella tells us various things. One being the fact that they are travelling together, whilst looking for work, is absurd, a relationship likes this never occurred between migrant workers it was known to be everyman for himself. People may believe on the outside that it was illustrated to be a brotherly relationship between George and Lennie when first being introduced. Quote needed George and Lennie however do not have a blood relationship though they behave like two brothers who wants to sacrifice them self for each other. This relationship is love in friendship. George was advising Lennie not to put them into trouble at the beginning of the novella as they fled from trouble due to Lennie and his uncontrollable actions. George was saying this for Lennie's care and what may occur to him if the trouble strikes again. “Come on, George. Please George. Like you done before.” Lennie is pleading George to recite their American Dream to him, the tone in which George then tells it is in a monotone, as if he has repeated it over again to Lennie. George is always telling him about their dream and “living off the fat of the land” because George knew that this dream is just a dream nothing which is obtainable for men like him and Lennie, itinerant workers, but the reason he repetitively repeated himself was to make Lennie content, his blood friend. But the situation wasn't going well, for their dream to become real, George knew this but kept saying it to enable Lennie to be happy and have something to hold onto when he needed hope.
However this opinion may differ to various readers. “Lennie, who had been watching/looked over at George to see whether he had it just right/ the way George’s hat was”. This indicates to the readers that the relationship is in fact like a father and son one. Readers may believe this due to the fact the way Lennie mirrors George’s actions in this passage and throughout the whole novella. Trying to be like him, something a son would strive to be like. George was like Lennie’s idol some may even say as he imitates George whenever he can. Furthermore, George treats him like a son,need quote just by him travelling with Lennie, to enable Lennie to try and succeed in life, giving him job opportunities, like father would. He also warns him about danger and where to seek refuge if this happens include this quote, once again little things which convey a father and son type relationship between them both. Also the fact that George feels responsible for him to certain extent as Lennie is mentally disabled and it is evident he would not find work without Georges guidance and help.
When Lennie is introduced and all the way through the novella, he is continuously compared with having animal characteristics.” and he walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws." Such representations of Lennie, as an animal, colour how we respond and perceive him as and how accountable we hold him for his tedious actions. Therefore, it is significant that Steinbeck immediately mentions an animal when he first describes Lennie to allow us to wonder about him in such a manner in specific situations. After walking into the clearing, Lennie's first...
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