Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Posted: November 27th, 2013





Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

            The story is about the experience of two close friends named Lenny and George as they take a trip together in North California in seeking for employment opportunities. They were particularly visiting the farms because they both desired to each own a pleasant piece of land in the future. However, misfortune gets in their way of reaching their destination and the car ends up having two flat tires. Within this experience, the author gets to analyze both characters based on how they deal with the situation (Shamblin and Scalia 6). He accomplishes this by identifying their differences based on how each character responds and acts differently towards the misfortune.

George Milton has been illustrated as being compassionate because of taking responsibility to take care of his friend known as Lennie. In addition, Lennie appears almost a burden to George because as he offloads his issues, George seems to take them in with much devotion (Shamblin and Scalia 6). This displays him as having a good heart because of the kindness he shows to his friend. George is also illustrated as having a clarified logic of what is right and wrong and his unconditional love for Lennie.

However, to prove his love, he is required to murder Lennie because of the worsening state of the psychological condition. Despite the challenging dilemma, George is displayed as considerate when he decides to kill Lennie based on the grounds of guarding him from a dreadful fate (Harold 14). In addition, George appears to be selfless because after killing his friends, he decides to abandon his dreams since Lennie would not be present anymore to witness the achievement of that dream. Therefore, George can be analyzed as a straightforward hard-core character with a pure heart of friendship.

On the other hand, Lennie Small is illustrated as being Georges’ held back counterpart within the traveling experience. He is described as having a huge body with slack shoulders, pastel eyes and an amorphous face. His weakness is shown where he desires to pet mild possessions and regularly harms them by accident (Harold 14). Irony is evident in this case because despite having a strong physical body appearance, his mentality is displayed to be of a child (Harold 14). The author attributes this to his mild psychological condition and hence his dependence on George for the assurance of security and guidance.

In addition, although both George and Lenny having the same dream of possessing a farm, Lenny ends up being the one to destroy that dream (Shamblin and Scalia 7). This is displayed where George complains that the situation with his friend brings him burdens of responsibility and hence he would have a simpler life without helping Lennie. However, he realizes that his compassion is what counts for a real friendship between and Lennie to exist.

The characters of George and Lenny that have been illustrated seem to differentiate because of their different life situations. For example, Lennie is displayed to be of a weak nature because of his psychological condition that makes him fail to function normally as an adult and hence has to rely for support and direction from his only friend. On the other hand, Georges’ strong points are emphasized because he is in the situation in which he carries most responsibilities and is required to fulfill them in order to show his commitment of true friendship to Lennie.



Scalia, Joseph E, and Lena T. Shamblin. John Steinbeck’s of Mice and Men. Piscataway, N.J: Research & Education Association, 2001. Print.

Bloom, Harold. Bloom’s Guides: John Steinbecks of Mice and Men. New York, N.Y: Chelsea House Publishers, 2006. Print.

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