how does steinbeck present lennie?

  • -3 votes

please help, don't really understand!

go an exam next week:)

Posted Sun 13th May, 2012 @ 15:03 by anilefi

7 Answers

  • 2 votes

The other answers pretty much sum it up but I would just add, try and link it to the themes and social, historical context of the novel too to get the top grades. For example,

An extremely perceptive point would be that he is emblematic of Steinbeck's veiw of the American Dream in that he hope's to achieve something which seems not likely to happen. You could back this up with many quotes on the mistakes and deaths Lennie has caused and how they prevent both him and George from achieving the dream.

You could also suggest that he is significant to the novel as he has a unique companionship with George which was unheard of during the Great Depression as many migrant workers travelled alone. Obviously, quotes like "I got you an' you got me", or something along those lines would strongly support that point.

Another point you could make is that of his sporadic (sudden) anger, which you could link to his child like tendancies and tantrums as well as that of danger since many deaths/injuries occur due to his frustration. These are all small inklings to the ending and foreshadow Lennie's death. Useful scenes to find quotes would be when Lennie crushes Curley's hand (suggest 'crushing his dream'), sudden anger of the dead pup and killing Curley's wife.

I have done these fairly vague so that they can be manipulated to suit several themes as well as character.

I will leave you with a final point, if you struggle with what points to make here's a tip: AID...

-Action: the way the character behaves and the impact of this on the novel, characters and reader. Sometimes also dream.

-Interaction: the realtionships the character has with other. Again, how this effects aspects of the novel, characters etc...

-Dreams: the dreams of the character and how they impact his/her decisions. (I would certainly write about this for Lennie as most of the deaths occur in the fear that "George won't let me tend the rabbits")

Don't forget, it's an essay so try to make a few points for each 'section' and remember to include as many relevant examples as possible so that the examiner is aware that you have a clear understanding of the entire novel.

I'm surprised at how much I actually know, I've just done a great bit of revision there! :') Don't worry you'll be fine...

Good luck! :) **

Answered Fri 18th May, 2012 @ 23:23 by JPopat
  • 0 votes

In Of Mice and Men, Lennie is mostly portrayed as a child in all aspects but his size; he needs to be constantly looked after, is easily amused and is often baffled by the simplest of concepts. But as a result of this childishness, he is also portrayed by Steinbeck as an image of innocence. Children are almost always described as innocent, as they do not have the experience that adults have, and by characterising Lennie as a child in the body of an adult, Steinbeck presents the question as to whether Lennie should be blamed for his actions, and whether his prosectors were just in their actions or not. Had Lennie been portrayed as either an actual child, or a normal man (like George but larger), this innocence would not have such dire consequences, or not exist at all.

Hope this helps a bit, and good luck with your exam :)

Answered Sun 13th May, 2012 @ 15:40 by Hummi C
  • 0 votes

Lennie is a huge child like man who travels with George. He is incapable of looking after himself, is very strong and is fascinated by small things like puppies and reabbits.

Steinbeck gives Lennie charactistics of animals to show his strength and personality
'Behind him walked... a bear drags its paws'
'Who hurt George? ...Lennie growled back to his seat'

Lennie has a mind of a child and often looks at George as a father figure and looks out for George also
'Lennie droned...imitated George exactly'
'George gonna give me hell...botherin' him'

I know its not much but I hope it helps :) **

Answered Sun 13th May, 2012 @ 19:33 by beth
  • 0 votes

i think its hard to understand the basic answer with paragraphs and paragraphs of things which you dont understand.
I Also have this exam.. and i watched 'of mice and men' the film, which really helps (clips on youtube if you havent)
but really, steinbeck shows how dependant lennie is of george and how his mind is very childlike in the way he doesnt understand 'common sense' aspects of life. for instance, why george didnt have ketchup in the middle of a forest.

good luck in your exam, just try and remember key points, quotes and about america 1930's and the hierarchy of black people against white males!

Answered Mon 21st May, 2012 @ 19:51 by Robyn Victoria Gaines
  • -1 votes

The above answers are great. Just remember to use lots of quotes and talk about what they mean. This will get you a better grade :)

Answered Tue 15th May, 2012 @ 16:06 by Tezz
  • -1 votes

He is also presented as an animal in some respects. Think about how he is always "compared" to the rabbits, Candy's dog, the mice etc. Sorry, this isn't explained very well. 

Answered Wed 16th May, 2012 @ 13:37 by CessieJakes
  • -2 votes

Basically agree with the above comments, very animalistic, and childlike.

@Hummi C he isn't childish. That implies that he is immature whereas he is just like a child in that he acts like one. Just be careful and use childlike rather than childish in your exam.

Answered Fri 18th May, 2012 @ 20:32 by LaurenE