Character Review: "Of Mice and Men"

Character Review: "Of Mice and Men"

Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck

John Steinbecks novel Of Mice and Men describes two of his characters in great depth. It is a story about two traveling laborers who are on their way to a job loading barley at a California ranch.

The two most important characters in the novel are George Milton and Lennie Small. They are ordinary workmen, moving from town to town and job to job. This is why George is always talking about having his own place and living "off the fat of the land.” But the problem is that Lennie has no intelligence and is not responsible. Someone has always had to take care of Lennie and do his thinking and talking for him. First his Aunt Clara looked after him, and now George does. Lennie has a child's short attention span and loves to think about the rabbits he will get to tend. But George can easily fit into the ranch hands' world. George is obviously the leader of the two men because he does all of their thinking. He remembers the things that must be remembered and instructs Lennie about them. Lennie, on the other hand, is all body. He "thinks" with his senses. The most important parts of Lennie's body are his hands. He likes to touch soft things, and he does it without thinking. That is why he keeps getting into trouble. For example, Lennie crushes Curley's hand with his hand, and breaks the necks of his puppy and Curley's wife when his hands get the better of him. It is interesting that Lennie gets in trouble only when George is not around.

It is obvious why Lennie needs George. George does his thinking for him and tries to keep him out of trouble. But why does George need Lennie? Lennie is more than just George's companion who keeps him from being lonely. Lennie makes George special. George tells Lennie that he could have so much fun without him, going into town and maybe spending his money in a whorehouse. But if he did these things he would be just like all the other nobodies on the...

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