The novel Of Mice and Men is one of the greatest works of the author John Steinbeck, and it was published in 1937, during the height of the Great Depression. During that time people didn’t have a steady income, and ranch-hand workers were migrating from farm to farm. In the story we follow George Milton and his mentally challenged friend Lennie Small, as they start working at a new farm.
They work hard to fulfill their dream, but they also encounter challenges, the most important one being the wife of the bosses’ son.
In the end she gets killed by Lennie, which is followed by George being forced to kill his friend. Due to the unrealistic dreams and the amount of death in the story, the story fits under the genre tragedy, while a very important theme is friendship. In this text I’m going to discuss the character of the friendship between Lennie and George.
The reason I chose this task is that, while reading the book, I wondered why George does not leave Lennie, considering the fact that Lennie is quite a burden to him.
The fact that companionship and hope are necessary to survive is well demonstrated by Lennie and George. The way they interact shows that they have known each other for a long time, meaning they are very close, and they know each other very well. “Ain’t many guys travel around together. Maybe everybody in the whole damn world is scared of each other” (Steinbeck, 1937, p.36).
The men are united in their dream which is to have a farm of their own, with cattle, and their own land. The dream includes the both of them and that’s why it is an important part of their relationship. It wouldn’t be the same without the other one.
Lennie feels better each time he hears George talking about their future, and it is the only thing he always remembers. Lennie is the one keeping the dream alive with his naivety, but he is also in the way of George’s dream. The reason is that George gets in a lot of trouble because of Lennie’s behavior.
He is many times thinking of Lennie as a source of frustration, because being a friend with one who is more mentally inferior, can be a challenge. But even if Lennie can be a burden sometimes, they work together through the hard times and are happy with each other’s company.