George & Lennie's Friendship Essay

895 words - 4 pages


When the Great Depression was rampant, a lot of people would live job-to-job, just to get by. In the novel Of Mice And Men, by John Steinbeck, George and Lennie have an odd relationship by how it's both positive and negative. George and Lennie were chased out of a town called Weed, because Lennie was feeling a girl's skirt; the girl had been scared by Lennie, and tried to run away, but Lennie wouldn't let go. After being chased out of Weed, George and Lennie rode a bus south, away from Weed, but were dropped off a few miles back, George and Lennie had to walk the rest of the way, until the came to the ranch. After killing a dog and someone's wife, Lennie was chased out of the ranch, and killed by George, to keep Lennie from a painful death. George and Lennie's relationship is uniquely positive and negative because of Lennie's mental incappability, George's short temper, and how George kills Lennie an the end of the novel.

Lennie's mental incappacility brings negativity towards the relationship. '"I forgot," Lennie said softly. "I tried not to forget. Honest to God I did, George"' (Steinbeck 12). Lennie is 'retarded', or slow of the mind; his abillity to use his brain as well as George is very limited. Always forgeting what George tells him, he is angered with Lennie as he always needs to remind him what to do. When George reminds Lennie of what to do, he's going to forget it again. Lennie's has the mentality of a child. "I done another bad thing" (178). Lennie has killed a woman--by accident, of course--and all he knows to say is he's done "a bad thing" once again. That's not the reaction of a grown person; it's the confession of a child. Lennie's a child trapped in a man's body, and nearly everything he says and does confirms that. Once again, Lennie's thought process isn't like George's.

As a man with a short temper, George has trouble keeping the relationship positive. '"Well, we ain’t got any," George exploded. "Whatever we ain’t got, that’s what you want. God a’mighty, if I was alone I could live so easy. I could go get a job an’ work, an’ no trouble. No mess at all, and when the end of the month come I could take my fifty bucks and go into town and get whatever I want. Why, I could stay in a cathouse all night. I could eat any place I want, hotel or any place, and order any damn thing I could think of. An’ I could do all that every damn month. Get a gallon of whisky, or set in a pool room and play cards...

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