Of Mice and Men Essay

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Part A – In this passage, how does Steinbeck introduce the relationship between George and Lennie? Refer closely to details from the passage in your response.

At the beginning of the passage Steinbeck firstly presents Lennie’s and Georges as having an idealization relationship. They walk in a “single file”; George leading and Lennie following. “Even in the open” this occurs as if it was a survival instinct for them, like a mother would do with a child in the human and animal world when danger was present. This tells me that George is protective of Lennie and that Lennie relies on George showing their relationship based on idealization. This can be shown again later on in the passage when the verb “sharply” and the command “don’t” are used to show how George and Lennie have a parent/child like relationship when George tries to stop Lennie from drinking “too much” water. As he could identify that it is not “good water” and that it is “scummy” unlike Lennie who “snorts” into the water like an animal who doesn’t think of the quality of water only of his thirstiness. However Georges amount of authority shown in “Lennie!”  Suggests to reader George is very anxious of Lennie because of a past action, later on we learn this to be about the girl in Weed. Their parent/child relationship is shown again at the end of the passage “Look, George. Look what I done”, Lennie here acts child like, “look” tells the audience that he wants attention off George.

In this paragraph Steinbeck also introduces the characters as having contrasting features to each other. Although they were the same clothes George is described as having “ small and quick dark of face” , “small strong hands” , “slender arms “ , “ a thin bony nose “ and “restless eyes”. “ Restless eyes” tell me that George is aware and cautious of his surroundings to the reader this could be due to the situation in Weed or just a naturalistic feature of George. “ slender arms “ , “a thin bony nose “ and “ small and quick dark of face” all tell me that George is quick and small , again another natural survival instinct. Finally hands are a very important feature in Of Mice And Men , Georges hands are “strong” , as he is teamed up with Lennie who has “heavy pendulum” hands its compensates for his smallness. In the 1930s the great depression was taking place, the American dream was dead causing nearly everyone to go into poverty of bankruptcy. To survive you needed hands to work and hands to fight when necessary. Lennie and George both made a great team to live in competitive male world; it was the survival of the fittest.

Lennie’s features completely oppose Georges, in the passage he is described as being; “a huge man”, “shapeless of face”, “large pale eyes”, “with wide, sloping shoulders”. Lennie’s features of having “wide, sloping shoulders” and being a “huge…


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