Themes Of Loyalty And Devotion In “Of Mice And Men”

975 words - 4 pages

“Of Mice and Men” is a 1930’s novella written by the American, John Steinbeck. It is a tale not only of isolation and loneliness, violence, dreams, and the competitive urge to dominate others, but also a tale of the journey of true companionship. True companionship is emphasized by indescribable loyalty and extreme devotion between two men, George and Lennie, during the hardships of the Great Depression. The story takes place south of Soledad, California during the 1930s and is told from the perspective of a third-person omniscient narrator. The story’s genre is fiction and tragedy; a tragedy so well crafted by John Steinbeck, that the conclusion leaves the reader questioning the inherent contradictions in both loyalty and devotion. George shows extreme devotion and loyalty to Lennie, serving as Lennie’s “guardian angel” – sticking up for him and staying with him in difficult situations, which eventually leads to heartbreaking sacrifices.
George shows extreme devotion and loyalty to Lennie by serving as Lennie’s “guardian angel”. Ever since Lennie's Aunt Clara had passed away, George has been caring for Lennie, providing Lennie with daily essentials including food and companionship, trying to give Lennie a life filled with honest labor, despite Lennie’s disadvantage. Most people would view Lennie as a mentally-ill person, and some may even take advantage of him. Instead, George takes Lennie’s life into his own hands and protects Lennie by watching over him. After all, they are both interdependent with one another; they both need one another. Lennie cannot think for himself and therefore depends on George’s intelligence to make good choices for him, allowing him to survive. On the other hand, George is a small man and requires Lennie’s enormous physical strength to help him succeed in life. The bond they share for each other is very strong, which increases their friendship. “But not us! An’ why? Because...because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that’s why.”(Steinbeck, 15) This quotation shows that although Lennie is not bright, he can tell that George cares for him as much as he cares for George. Friendship is a hard thing to come by for a group of ranch workers. George describes to Lennie their dream of living off the farm and the “fatta the lan’”. George tells Lennie that they are different than other ranchers, who are said to be the loneliest guys in the world, because George and Lennie have each other.
Throughout the book Lennie gets into many difficult situations, and George shows extreme devotion and loyalty to Lennie by sticking up for him and staying with him throughout the dilemmas. One example is when Lennie has to flee the town of Weed due to his incident with the girl’s dress. George chooses to help Lennie escape from the town,...

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