Signfiance of the Names in of Mice and Men

Topics: John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, Great Depression Pages: 2 (736 words) Published: February 9, 2012
“The Significance of the names in Of Mice and Men”
There are names that John Steinbeck chose for his book Of Mice and Men. These names were not chosen at random they were picked because they have significance to the story and a meaning beyond the book. Each name was chosen for a reason and each character not name was also picked for a reason.

George Milton was an honest man and always did what was right even if it hurt him, but his name is not just a name it has several meanings to it. His first name, George, in Greek means “earth-worker” or “farmer”. The significance to this was because he was a ranch worker and did work on the land. His last name, Milton, came from the last name of a famous writer, John Milton, and means Paradise Lost. The significance to this was when he had to shoot Lennie he lost their dream of owning a ranch to themselves, Thus Paradise Lost. There were also a lot of leaders whose names were George which could be another reason Mr. Steinbeck chose this name. It is believed to be related to the fact that George has dominate control of Lennie and is responsible for making the best decisions he can for Lennie and himself, just as leaders do for their country’s or Kingdoms.

Lennie Small was a big, gentle man with a child’s mind who didn’t know his own strength. His first name was assumed to be Leonard or Leonardo which is derived from German elements “brave lion.” The significance of this is believed to be the opposite of Lennie’s mental abilities or believed to be describing is physical characteristics more than his mental characteristics. Lennie is compared to a Lion who in the animal kingdom show their superiority through their strength. Lennie shows his superiority twice in the book. Once when he crushes Curley’s hand and the other being when he killed Curley’s wife. Lennie’s last name, Small, contradicts him completely when you talk about his physical appearances. He has a big build to his body and is a strong man. When you talk...
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