Of Mice & Men

Lennie

Lennie

When Lenny and George first meet we cannot tell them apart. "Both were dressed in denim trousers and in denim coats with brass buttons. Both wore black, shapeless hats and both carried tight blanket rolls slung over their shoulders" (1.4) But yet, they are not the same and not equals because Lenny is mentally challenged. Lenny is a big, childlike migrant worker. The friendship that develops between George and Lenny mimics a caretaker and a young child. Lennie completely depends upon George, his friend and traveling companion, for guidance and protection. The two men share a vision of a farm that they will own together, a vision that Lennie believes in genuinely ."Sure," said George. "All kin's a vegetables in the garden, and if we want a little whisky we can sell a few eggs or something, or some milk. We'd jus' live there. We'd belong there. There wouldn't be no more runnin' round the country and gettin' fed by a Jap cook. No, sir, we'd have our own place where we belonged and not sleep in no bunk house." (3.202-203) Lennie also contributes happiness to George's life, even if George doesn't seem too grateful. He's always talking "happily" (1.7) or "delightedly" (1.115), because he never understands when a situation is serious. Even when George is yelling at him not to drink too much, he says, "Tha's good … You drink some, George. You take a good big drink" (1.7). Gentle and kind, Lennie nevertheless does not understand his own strength. His love of petting soft things, such as small animals, dresses, and people’s hair, leads to disaster. Lenny and George dreamed of owning their own farm but, because of Lenny's severe issues, George decides to kill Lenny to put him out of his misery and their dream is shattered.


Lennie & George

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