In this essay I am going to be writing about one of the primary characters in John Steinbeck’s novella ‘Of Mice and Men’. The story portrays the journeys and occurring issues of two migrant workers who share an uncommon relationship for the time and environment in which the novella is set. Lennie Small is the character I will be checking out and I will start by offering an in-depth description of his physical look and behaviour.
Second I will look at his and the other primary character George’s relationship which will then be followed by Lennie’s relationships with other characters throughout the book.
I will then go on to take a look at the foreshadowing in which Steinbeck shows in the story and finally I will conclude the story of its last climax. Steinbeck utilizes several descriptions of Lennie Small in the novella. Frequently compared to animals, one of the first descriptions of him is him being compared to a bear. ‘He was dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws’, is a line which represents an image of how physically large Lennie is while also suggesting the level of his strength.
Lennie is likewise explained to be ‘shapeless of face, with large, pale eyes’ which compares easily to a small innocent child who doesn’t comprehend his environments. The images developed in this scene begins to suggest that Lennie, although a grown man, does not have a mind of his own, nearly childlike, while constantly having someone to direct him through life. In spite of his age, Lennie acts and speaks to immaturity due a mental special needs. ‘Gradually like a terrier, who doesn’t wish to bring a ball back to his master’ is a line Steinbeck composed to emphasise Lennie’s immature personality.
By comparing him to a terrier he ends up being viewed as irrational with a very instinctive side to him. Steinbeck uses the word ‘master’ which symbolizes how Lennie, not able to make sensible choices, needs a master or more so a carer. It worries his naivety and likewise his loyalty to George. In addition in this novella Lennie does not purposefully imply to do damage however that does not suggest he is entirely harmless. This is shown when Steinbeck composes ‘I wasn’t not doing anything bad with it, George. jus’ stroking it. in the scene where George is requiring the dead mouse from Lennie. By composing this Steinbeck has actually recommended that the innocent Lennie is and both a victim and bad guy throughout his life. No matter how safe he is within his mind, his strength betrays his personality leaving his child like mind, and brute strength a threatening mix. Steinbeck’s very first description of George and Lennie’s relationship demonstrates the truth that George is quite like a father figure to Lennie.
He is continuously imitating George and following obediently which is explained when ‘they had walked in file down the path, and even in the open one stayed one behind the other’. This quote emphasises the supremacy in the relationship and how Lennie is always following behind George because he wishes to reveal him regard. Likewise Lennie mimics George with the upmost precision, ‘Then (George) replaced his hat, pressed himself back from the river, drew up his knees and embraced them.
Lennie who had been viewing imitated George precisely’ highlights this as it reveals just how much Lennie appreciates George as if he is likewise a hero in addition to a daddy figure in which he wants to make proud. It produces the thought that perhaps all Lennie desires is for George to be happy with him and is symbolic to the truth Lennie admires George as a role model. In the opening dialogue between George and Lennie the nature of their relationship is easily distinguishable when George says ‘Lennie! Lennie for Gods sake, do not consume excessive. ou gon na be sick like you was last night’ due to the fact that it communicates just how much George actually cares for and worries for Lennie without making it sound too caring. He speaks down to Lennie in a purchasing from manner which also symbolises the authority in the relationship. In this novella one of the essential aspects of Lennie and George is the dream they both dream to achieve. Due to Lennie’s childlike mind set and George’s fatherly function in Lennie’s life the dream becomes somewhat a bedtime story for Lennie. On a number of events ‘Lennie pleads “Begin George.
Tell me. Please, George. Like you did before.”‘ which additional emphasises how much of a child he is because of the fact it makes him calm, happy and nearly settled as if he were an infant going to sleep. It might likewise portray the subconscious worries Lennie has so he feels the requirement to be reassured about their dream. Lennie’s relationships with other characters vary and progress throughout the novella. When Slim, the jerkline skinner, is very first introduced to Lennie and George he is surprised by the oddness of their relationship with each other.
He immediately see’s Lennie’s lack of mindset and in the future states to George ‘it appears kinda amusing, a cuckoo like him and a smart person like you travelling together’ which is the very first viewpoint Slim exposes towards Lennie. At first he just sees the childlike Lennie however after the circumstance discussed he understands and views Lennie in an entirely various light. ‘He’s a great fella, man do not need no sense to be a nice fella’ is a line which Steinbeck composed to show clearly how Slim aspects and likes Lennie as it stresses that he does not just see the lack of intelligence however the good man concealed beneath the childish outside.
Although Slim doesn’t actually be familiar with Lennie in this novella, his relationship with George permits him to comprehend Lennie and the position the two are in. Slim appreciates that Lennie is not a terrible person when he states ‘He ain’t suggest, I can see Lennie ain’t a bit mean’ which further stresses the intelligence Slim possess to see behind the initial analysis of Lennie as a man and demonstrates how his sensations towards him have developed into somewhat respect. Another relationship that Lennie has is one with the steady dollar, Crooks.
Steinbeck implements this unmentioned friendship between the 2 since both are isolated from the remainder of the cattle ranch employees, Lennie since of his size and childish behaviour and Crooks due to the fact that of him being black and being segregated from the rest of the workers. Although Lennie is depicted as the weakest psychologically, he does not understand the unwritten code of racial partition which brings out the smart side to him which is proven in the method he acts towards Crooks. When Criminals concerns him about why he has gotten in the barn Lennie responds with ‘Nothing- I seen your light.
I believed I could jus’ come an’ set’ which demonstrates how innocent Lennie is and in such a way how lonely he is as he goes to investigate the possibility that he could speak with someone. It could likewise show that Lennie sees scoundrels as an equivalent unlike the other men on the cattle ranch who merely see his colour. In this novella Steinbeck uses foreshadowing a lot throughout the whole story. It appears everywhere, hinting on what will occur to various characters and the method the story will establish. It is used to reveal that Lennie will be getting in problem with Curley’s spouse, her death and likewise his death and the exact way in which he dies.
The minute Curley’s spouse is presented an ill sensation gets rid of the atmosphere signifying that Lennie will in reality be entering into some sort of mess including her. George says at the extremely beginning ‘I seen ’em poison in the past, but I never seen no piece of prison bait like her previously. You leave her be’ is a quote from the novella which directly foreshadows Curley’s spouses death due to the fact that by having George inform him to leave her alone, it’s obviously going to go the opposite way and something will end up bringing the pair together.
Another thing that adds to the foreshadowing of her death is Lennie’s propensity to ‘get carried away’ with touching soft, silky and quite things. Throughout the novella the victims of Lennie’s harmless ‘cuddling’ gradually grow, beginning with the girls gown in Weed, the mouse, advancing on to Curley’s hand and the pup and finally ending with Curley’s herself. The skirt, mouse, pup and Curley’s better half all link in with the need to touch ‘soft things’ and the very same response even occur in each.
Once they start to panic or squirm Lennie responds in a childish way and doesn’t know what to do so he merely doesn’t let his hold of that things go. Excluding Curley’s hand which was purely down to animal and childish instinct, all the other incidents could link to the concept that in Lennie’s ignorant mind, ‘soft and quite’ things associate with the dream that he and George have and as soon as the victims begin to struggle it immediately signals Lennie that the dream is leaving him and he hangs on in worry of releasing and loosing it.
The foreshadowing of Lennie’s death takes place at different points throughout the novella. The shooting of sweet’s pet being the primary one. When Carlson is attempting to convince Candy into letting him shoot the canine he says ‘He ain’t no great to you, Sweet. An’ he ain’t no great to himself. Wh ‘n’ t you shoot him, Sweet?’ which is precisely how Lennie is viewed as a partner of George. Both the pet dog and Lennie are connected as they both in some way weigh down their ‘owner’ and aren’t really useful to them.
Another thing which foreshadows his death is George’s continuous reminders of how his life would be much easier without him. ‘God you’re a lot of problem, I could get along so simple therefore good if I didn’t have you on my tail. I might live so easy and possibly have a woman’ is a line which Steinbeck composed to foreshadow what may occur in the end of the story as it is how George feels inside which he often informs Lennie at different points in the story. Lennie’s death, placed right at the end of the story, is no big surprise when it in fact occurs. Beforehand Lennie and George are simply talking.
Lennie is puzzled as to why George isn’t screaming at him and this particular bit demonstrates how much George secretly does look after Lennie and wishes that this didn’t occur. ‘No Lennie, I ain’t mad. I never seethed an’ I ain’t now. That’s the thing I desire ya to understand.’ is a line from George which symbolises that no matter what bad things Lennie has actually ever done, George only wants the best for him, even if that implies killing him. Steinbeck utilizes the expression ‘never ever been mad’ to reveal that George is feeling guilty about his responses towards Lennies mistakes in the past and trying to make it right.
Regardless of the reality he has actually currently made the decision to end Lennie’s life George still discovers it hard to do so which is depicted when Steinbeck wrote that ‘George raised the gun and his hand shook, and he dropped his hand to the ground once again’. This quote lays emphasis on how challenging it is for George to follow through with his job. No matter how much of a dead weight Lennie is to him, they have still been together for a long while which contributes to the truth George finds it so hard to eliminate him. The thing that played the most part in the decision George made to eliminate Lennie was Sweet’s words, ‘I ought to of shot that pet myself, George.
I should not should of let no stranger shoot my dog.’ due to the fact that George comprehends that the death of Lennie is inescapable and is going to take place one way or another whether it be now or in the next town when he does something else incorrect. Georges choice is assured by Slim right at the end of the novella when he says ‘You hadda George, I swear you hadda’ due to the fact that he understands the scenario George is in and is trying to ensure him that he made the right decision in eliminating Lennie. In conclusion, Lennie Small is an extremely intricate character.
The description of his character is really precise and so is his personality. Throughout this novella it is obvious that Lennie’s character is the one that undergoes the least amount of advancement. His childish mentality and mind set prohibit any possible expansion of his character nevertheless Lennie’s defense from George, commitment to him, and imagine the farm make him the character that he is. His representation of innocence throughout the course of the novella is an essential reason why readers feel so much sympathy for him, and is the primary way in which he is represented all throughout Of Mice and Guy.