Of Mice and Men


Points To Ponder

Discuss significant aspects of George and Lennie’s friendship.

The core theme of the story centers on the relationship between George and Lennie. Steinbeck idealizes the fraternity of male friendship in the story, placing emphasis on the specialness and rarity of the bond between the two men. Lennie’s world revolves around George, as he is his only friend and offers him comfort and protection. He is constantly worried that his actions will result in disapproval from George, and he does not care about any other consequences, no matter how serious they may be. His own well-being is sacrificed in order to keep his word to George that he will stay out of trouble. This is illustrated in the scene in which Curley attacks Lennie and he does not defend himself until he receives instruction from George indicating that it is all right to do so. Furthermore, when he accidently commits serious offenses, such as killing the puppy and Curley’s wife, he is only concerned with whether George will be angry with him and whether George will still let him tend rabbits on their dream farm. His faith in George stems from innocent naïveté that dates back to when they were children.

George means everything to Lennie, and life without George seems unthinkable to him. The sentiment is not shared by George, who often feels burdened by Lennie and frustrated by his obligation to him. Lennie often causes trouble unintentionally, and George is required out of his commitment to Lennie to cover for him and flee for their safety. Beneath all of the complaints about Lennie and fantasies about how easy life would be without him, however, George remains loyally devoted to their friendship. The major bond in their friendship is based in their shared dream to own their own land someday where they could have a farm and live in peace and freedom. Throughout the story, George repeatedly describes their dream farm to Lennie, which brings comfort and hope to both of the men. Lennie’s blind faith in the dream keeps George believing in the possibility of...

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