Of Mice And Men short charachter essays

Essays on the characters in Of Mice And Men, four paragraphs on George and Lennie, Three on Candy, Crooks and Curley's wife, one on the others. Also a bit written on themes as a bonus.

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English Revision: Essays for key "Of Mice and Men" characters
George Milton
George Milton's name is interesting. It is not as clearly connected to his character as Crook's or (Lennie)
small's name. Could it be linked to the English poet John Milton, author of Paradise Lost, describing the
fall of man? George's move with Lennie's end from hope to cynicism could be linked to this.
Firstly, we can see that George is quite protective of Lennie, his unintelligent, strong travelling
companion. "No reason at all for you" he tells Lennie. This could show that George realises that Lennie
will not understand what he is told, and therefore that he is trying to protect Lennie from the confusion
that this may cause. Alternatively, it may show that he is hiding something from him for other, maybe
darker reasons. I think the former interpretation is more probable, as in other parts of the novel (for
example when Lennie gets into a fight with the violent, aggressive son of the boss, Curley) George also
seems to be very protective and supportive of him.
It is also suggested that George and Lennie's relationship might resemble a father-son relationship. We
are told that George, near the pool on their first night, tells the dream to Lennie "rhythmically, as though
he had said [it] many times before". This, coupled with Lennie's eagerness to hear the story, is
reminiscent of a bedtime story, which would point to a father-son relationship between George and
Lennie. In addition, the way in which George is protective and supportive of Lennie, but also regularly
chastises and disciplines him would also point to this. The argument would be further supported by the
difficulty with which George makes the decision to kill Lennie at the end of the book.
We can also see that George is very suspicious of the ranch. "What the hell kind of beds you giving us
anyways?" he asks Candy, the elderly, disabled cleaner after finding a bottle of disinfectant on the shelf
above his bed. This shows George is very alert, and on guard to possible threats to himself and Lennie.
He might even be overly suspicious- however, on the harsh world of a 30's American ranch, this would
be unlikely.
We can also see that George has changed through knowing Lennie. He tells Slim that he "used to play
jokes on him cause he was too dumb to take care of himself... He damn near drowned [once]...Well, I
ain't done nothing like that no more." We can see that George has stopped playing tricks on Lennie after
he almost drowned. This could show that George, despite his somewhat tough exterior, is actually very
caring; he realises it is cruel to have fun at Lennie's expense. On the other hand, the fact that Lennie
almost drowned might just have shocked George into behaving more kindly towards him.
We can also see that, despite his apparent cynicism, there is also a touch of naivety about George. After
Candy offers his money towards the purchase of the farm, George starts to think that they will be able
to buy it "His eyes were full of wonder "I bet we could swing her" he repeated softly." This passage is
interesting, as while all through the rest of the book, George thinks that the farm is just a dream to keep
Lennie happy (he even confesses this to Candy at one point), at this point in the book, he briefly thinks it
is real. This section represents something extremely rare, which separates this book from most others-

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While this is of course reversed later, it is
still a very interesting part of the novel.
Lennie Small
We learn that Lennie, as well as being unintelligent, has very little knowledge of the past. George
chastises Lennie as he "Don't even know who that lady was. That was your own Aunt Clara.…read more

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Finally, the other men's ignorance of him could represent the point at which he is
demoted in the ranch's hierarchy from "standard ranch worker"- like George, Whit and Carlson- to
"shunned minority"- like Lennie, Crooks and Curley's Wife.
The reader is shown Candy's excitement at the possibility of helping to buy George and Lennie's dream
farm. "Lennie and Candy nodded, and they were grinning with delight.…read more

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Therefore, rather than showing that cruelty comes from the weak
rather than the powerful, as this book had often been interpreted as showing, perhaps it shows instead
that the weak act as a conduit of cruelty from the powerful to the even weaker.
Finally, we can see Crook's loneliness in the barn. When Candy enters, "it was difficult for Crooks to
conceal his pleasure with anger.…read more

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Lennie broke his hand during the fight in the bunkhouse. Finally, and perhaps
most surprisingly, we can see that he does not love his wife very much- he seems not to be at all
concerned about her murder, apart from as an excuse to get back at Lennie.
Slim
Slim, despite his apparent wisdom, is also presented as a rather simple character. "His authority was so
great that his word was taken on any subject, be it politics or love...…read more

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We can tell that George has no hope of escaping this tragic existence; and yet, it is his own,
albeit forced, actions that eventually lead to it.
We can also see how loneliness has affected Crooks, the crippled, black stable buck. "I tell ya, a guy gets
too lonely an' he gets sick" This portrayal of loneliness as a disease is interesting.…read more

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