Of Mice and Men
In ‘Of Mice and Men’, we meet George and Lennie, a pair of men seeking work on ranches.
They are different to the other men because they work and search together whereas most other men, or ‘Ranchers’ are loners who do everything on their own, for themselves.
Though George and Lennie come as a pair, they couldn’t be more opposite from each other.
Steinbeck describes George to us. “Small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp, strong features… Small strong hands, slender arms and a thin and boney nose.” He is generally described as ‘small’.
Steinbeck describes parts of George as small and defined, whereas Lennie is the complete opposite. “A huge man, shapeless of face, with large, pale eyes with wide, sloping shoulders… walked heavily dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws.”
Steinbeck uses words such as “huge” and “shapeless” which are the opposites of “small” and “defined”.
They are so different because Steinbeck wanted to show that by joining each of their skills and abilities, they would create a good team together.
Later on throughout the story Lennie asks George to “tell about the rabbits” and George shows us the brilliant companionship the two men share. “Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don’t belong no place… with us it aint like that. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us… if them other guys get in jail they can rot for all anybody gives a damn. But not us.” After George’s speech, Lennie breaks in exclaiming, “… an’ why? Because I got you to look after me and you got me to look after you…”
Lennie’s interruption shows passion inside him for the relationship they share, and also shows us loyalty between the two men, which wouldn’t have been expected of any man back in those times.
It shows us that they both genuinely care for each other and have done for a long time. They have such a great friendship and love of one...