Section 1 continued

Notes on section 1

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  • Created by: Nightmare
  • Created on: 08-04-09 07:28

Section 1: Lennie 2

"What mouse George? I ain't got no mouse."

Lennie desperately needs something to pet.

Steinbeck again uses animal imagery and describes Lennie as being "like a terrier" a dog which, like Lennie, has determination to hold on to things.

Lennie is reluctant to let go of the mouse, which he has accidentally "broken" by petting it.

He has killed other small creatures, or "pinched their heads a little", as he puts it.

He wants something that is warm and alive.

Lennie's behaviour will have devastating consequences in the future.

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Section 1: Nature 3

The flow of the narrative is interrupted again by a piece of pastoral description.

There is a powerful sense of hidden things starting to emerge.

As is the way the 'big carp' rises then sinks 'misteriously', leaving 'widening rings' similar to those created by Lennie's 'paw' earlier.

This image of widening rings hints at the increasing repercussions of Lennie's actions.

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Section 1: George 2

"God a'mighty, if was alone, I could live so easy."

George's frustrations with Lennie's behaviour come to head at this point.

The better life George says he could enjoy if he didn't have Lennie seems to be a limited one: drink, food, hired women, and gambling.

It is the very lifestyle that other workers find so unsatisfying.

By staying with Lennie, George actually enjoys companionship and a sense of responsibility.

This is why, George doesn't strike off on his own.

Steinbeck uses various methods to endear Lennie to the reader.

The expression that Lennie uses here, "because I got you...and you got me", is a very accurate assesment of their need for each other.

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Section 1: Lennie 3

"If you don' want me I can go off in the hills an' find a cave. I can go away any time."

Lennie's suggestion is what a wild animal might do and particularly appropriate for a bear, the most dominant animal image so far.

Lennie has a strange kind of of animal intellect - and intelligence based on intuition.

However Lennie's suggestion is not welcomed by George, not only because Lennie wouldn't survive, but also because George actually needs Lennie.

George gets physical protection, a feeling of doing something worthwile in looking after Lennie, and a boost of self-esteem because Lennie makes hime feel superior.

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