Touch is usually seen as a symbol of physical affection but may be misused and cause physical or mental destruction. In John Steinbeck’s, Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck uses tactile imagery to depict characters emotions which are unable to be expressed verbally. The main character’s of the novel, Lennie and George, are introduced in the opening of the story. “ The first man was small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp, strong features. Every part of him was defined: small, strong hands, slender arms, a thin and bony nose. Behind him walked his opposite, a huge man, shapeless of face, with large, pale eyes, and wide, sloping shoulders; and he walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws” (Steinbeck 2). The second man, Lennie, although large in stature, has a childlike mind and behavior due to his mental disability. The first man described, George, is quick witted and cares for Lennie who is completely dependent upon George. The two men share the dream of one day owning and living on a farm, but until they are able to fulfill this dream, they must live the difficult and lonely life of a migrant worker during the 1930’s.
Through Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck’s use of isolation and touch imagery contradict one another. By the end, he comes to the conclusion that man is not in control of one’s destiny.
Lennie’s issues with touch stem from his lack of ability to control his mind. Because of his disability, in situations where he feels pleasure or excitement, he misinterprets his emotions and becomes frantic which causes force in his hands. “The rabbits captures Lennie's innocent love of tactile stimulation, his participation in George's dream of establishing a farm of their own, and the threat of his daunting strength. Every cuddly thing he's touched, after all, has died- just as the dream of the rabbits dies. This internal fight constantly haunts not only him,