One Man’s Ignorance Essay

1507 words - 6 pages

In John Steinbeck's classic novel, Of Mice and Men, George, a small insensitive and short-tempered man, transforms from an ignorant and unfeeling individual into a more understanding and sympathetic person. At the opening of the novel, George's domineering and fiery personality lead to belittlement and verbal abuse towards Lennie, his mentally handicapped friend. As the story progresses, certain events and conflicts take place that initiate a change in George's personality. Later in the novel, indications through behavior and conversations reveal that George's metamorphosis from the old insensitive ways to his new more understanding personality have taken effect. These all exhibit one man's struggle to find himself and his true personality through his humble and meek handicapped friend.In the beginning of the novel, George's visible verbal belittlement and abuse is his way of taking out his anger and frustration on his innocent friend, which is wrong and immoral. George's fiery temper get in the way of his judgments and lead him to his heated confrontations with Lennie. While the two companions are camping out near the Salinas River, George uses his defenseless friend Lennie as a way to vent out his frustrations. When Lennie asks George for some ketchup George explodes at Lennie, "'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"¦An' whatta I got,' George went on furiously. "˜I got you! You can't keep a job and you lose me ever' job I get. Jus' keep me shovin' all over the country all the time. An' that ain't the worst. You get in trouble. You do bad things and I got to go get you out'" (12). George explodes on Lennie blaming him for all of his misfortunes and problems in his life. Lennie, being innocent and incapable of defending himself against the smarter George accepts the accusations and believes that he is to blame for all the problems in their lives. George's verbal bashing and ranting continue throughout the beginning of the novel. George never once takes into considerations Lennie's feelings but rather continues on with the humiliating and demoralizing comments. George still stared morosely at the fire. "'When I think of the swell time I could have without you, I go nuts. I never get no peace'" (13). Even though, Lennie is mentally handicapped George lacks the decency and common sense to withhold his vitriolic comments. Showing no regard for others feelings or emotions George has no trouble stepping all over his companion or crushing his self-esteem. Another instance of this ignorance and heartless behavior is George's temperament. George's domineering personality is another distinct characteristic that is noticeable in his actions and behaviors. "'You gonna get that wood?' George demanded. "˜There's plenty right up against the back of that sycamore. Floodwater wood. Now you get it'" (11). George's ignorance is evident through...

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