Discuss the Relationship between George and Lennie in the Book “Mice of Men”
The novel “Of Mice of Men” portrays the deep relationship between George and Lennie. As the book progresses, the reader plunges deeper into their relationship. The curiosity of George and Lennie friendship is intriguing for the reader and is very thought-provoking for the reader as it very complex and full of twists and turns. Undoubtedly, George has come to like Lennie and feels a sense of duty and responsibility towards him. Lennie needs George, but it is equally true that George needs Lennie as well. George was also harsh, mean and derogatory to Lennie, however, it is also very evident that George never left Lennie despite his life would have mean much easier without him. Lennie is George’s hardship, but George loves him regardless.
Since the death of Lennie’s Aunt Clara, George took it upon himself to take responsibility for him and his special needs by finding him jobs, feeding him, and making sure he is safe. Their mutual dependence on one another is what keeps George and Lennie together. Lennie stays with George because he has no other option. His only family, his aunt, has passed away, and he has the mind of a very young child. He would not be able to survive on his own: it is because of George that he is able to find work, and it is George who ultimately cares for him. George stays with Lennie, I believe, out of a sense of duty and overwhelming loneliness. George promised Lennie’s aunt that he would look after Lennie, and now he has become so used to being with Lennie that he does not know any other way. Lennie, despite the frustration George feels in taking care of him, is George’s only friend. From Lennie’s perspective, George is the most important person in his life, his guardian and his only friend.
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Every time he does anything that he knows is wrong, his first thought is of George’s disapproval. He doesn’t defend himself from Curley because of George’s stern instruction for him to stay out of trouble. George, on the other hand, thinks of Lennie as a constant source of frustration. He has assumed responsibility for Lennie’s welfare and has, several times, been forced to run because of trouble Lennie has unintentionally caused. However, despite George’s frequent bouts of anger and frustration, and his long speeches about how much easier life would be without Lennie, George is clearly devoted to his friend. Throughout the book, George is continuously telling Lennie that if he were alone he “could live so easy.” When Lennie gives his answer of leaving, George instantly jumps down Lennie’s throat and reminds Lennie that he “was jus’ foolin'” and wants Lennie to stay, therefore he evidently cares about Lennie and doesn’t want him to go off on his own.
Admittedly, George’s life would have been much easier without him, for instance, he says “…when the end of the month come I could take my fifty bucks and go into town and get whatever I want. …I could stay in a cat house all night. I could eat any place I want, hotel… get a gallon of whisky…”, if he were alone his life would be much easier and free, in addition to this George has to get Lennie out of numerous situations throughout the length of the book. As well as protecting Lennie, George also stood up for him when others said harsh things about him, or when they threatened to harm him. One time Slim claimed that he thought Lennie was a “cuckoo” and wondered why George travelled with him. In response, George defended Lennie, and he explained to Slim that although Lennie wasn’t very bright, he surely wasn’t crazy. He also added that it’s not that strange for two guys to be travelling with one another and that he and Lennie grew up together and just got used to each other after a while. After Lennie killed Curley’s wife, George told Candy that he won’t let them hurt Lennie, and he also pleaded with Curley not to shoot and kill him.
He tries to explain to him that Lennie didn’t mean any harm and that he didn’t know any better. George and Lennie’s relationship is portrayed very clearly in scenes, in which George tells Lennie about their dream, a farm they one day plan to own. This piece of land represents a world in which the two men can live together just as they are, without dangers. As the novel progresses and their situation worsens, George and Lennie’s desire to attain the farm they dream about grows more desperate. Lennie believes unquestioningly in their dream, and his faith enables the cynical George to imagine the possibility of this dream becoming reality. In fact, George’s belief in it depends upon Lennie, for as soon as Lennie dies, George’s hope for a brighter future disappears. Their vision becomes so powerful that it will eventually attract other men, who will beg to be a part of it. George and Lennie have nothing in the world except each other and this dream, this dream is a crucial part of their life.
Lennie believes in this dream and brings it up many times throughout the story. Referring back to the point, if Lennie does something he knows which is wrong instantly thinks of George’s disapproval, he also thinks that George won’t let him, “tend the rabbit’s no more”. George reminds Lennie that they are extremely lucky to have each other since most men do not enjoy this comfort, especially men like George and Lennie, who exist on the margins of society. George tells Lennie, “We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us. We don’t have to sit in no bar-room blowin’ in our jack jus’ because we got no place else to go. If the other guys get in jail they can rot for all anybody gives a damn. But not us.” Here George says, that George and Lennie are different because they have each other, and “an’ someone who gives a damn “about us”. Their companionship is what stave off the horrors of loneliness, throughout the book the reader discovers the loneliness of all the characters, for example, Candy, Curly’s wife and Slim, George and Lennie, however, have each other whereas most of the secondary characters do not. George Is constantly reminding Lennie how lucky they both are to have each other.
George was cruel to Lennie at times, continuously told Lennie that life would be easier without him, but he did in fact care about him and his well being. In the book, there are many instances proving that George cared about Lennie. There are some occasions, which are evidence of the fact that George does nice things for Lennie to make him happy. George knew that Lennie had always wanted a puppy of his own, so when he learned that Slim’s dog just had a litter he asked Slim himself if Lennie could have one. George used to lead Lennie on, telling him to do things he wasn’t capable of, such as telling Lennie to jump into the Sacramento River, just to impress a group of guys. Lennie did jump in, despite the fact he couldn’t swim at all. He almost drowned and it was a while before Lennie could be pulled out. After he was pulled out, he was incredibly grateful to George for pulling him out, completely oblivious to the fact that it was George who told him who primarily told him to jump in.