The first example of love from George to Lennie is when the characters first run over to the pool. Steinbeck uses a variety of techniques such as similes and animal imagery andalso profanities to determine George and Lennies relationship. ‘snorting into the water like a horse… forgodsakes don’t drink so much… Jesus Christ you crazy bastard.’ The animal imagery of a horse makes Lennie seem slappy, awkward and unhygienic. The profanities used by George shows how much effort it takes to keep this simple-minded man in line. Most people say ‘opposites attract’ and Lennie and George fits this picture perfectly. Their complementary relationship is full of love when we understand that they are very different but perfectly matched.
Steinbeck uses the technique of colloquial language to show how protective George is of Lennie. ‘Lennie was just scairt… he didn’t know what to do.’ This colloquial language portrays George in his most natural role: as Lennie’s guardian. The language of ‘scairt’ is how George describes Lennies reaction to Curley, who started the fight. The love displayed from George towards Lennie is an instant reaction and defense mechanism for anytime Lennie is in trouble. George excuses Lennies actions by saying he was simply ‘scairt’.
Near the end of the novella, when Lennie kills Curelys wife, he is only worried about one thing – what will George think. He says ‘Oh! Please don’t do that. George’ll be mad.’ And ‘but George’ll be mad if you yell.’ This dialogue from Lennie suggests to us that he can’t even understand that killing her was morally wrong; he only knows that George will be mad. This tells us that Lennie knows George so well, he might even know him better that himself.
Ultimately, as my analysis of the text has shown, the relationship between George and Lennie is one based on love and friendship.
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