In the story, Of Mice and Men, author John Steinbeck shows readers that no matter the personal qualities or differences in beings, friendship overrules on everything and prevails beyond all disparities as shown by characters George and Lennie. Steinbeck asserts that friendship should never be defined on the contrasts people have in themselves; rather, they should come from within, true and unerring to both. This perception is clearly unveiled in the context of this book. The main characters, George and Lennie, despite their major asymmetries, they have a strong but veritable friendship that they share with each other. George, a swift and honest man true to his values, takes care of big, bulky Lennie who is mentally ill and doesn’t make the equitable choices. In the opening scenes of the story, George and Lennie find themselves in a small valley, looking for a place to call their siesta. On the way there, Lennie talks about how he might be a burden to George, and how George would be better off without him because Lennie causes him trouble. “’When I [George] think of the swell time I could have without you, I go nuts…’I [Lennie] could go off in the hills there…’No-look! I was jus’ foolin’, Lennie. ‘Cause I want you to stay with me.” (Steinbeck 12-13) Despite the exasperation Lennie causes him, George sticks with his true self and mind and forgives Lennie for his disparities because in the end, Lennie is his friend, his true companion, and wants to spend the rest of his life with him. George also helps Lennie with his problems, and attempts to teach him the difference between right and wrong. Adventuring later into the story, Lennie receives a pup from one of his workmates and takes the pup into his bunkhouse because he likes to pet furry objects, ranging from cloths to living elements. This could potentially put the pup in a lot of danger, because with the lack of food and nurturing from his mother, the pup could eventually die. However, Lennie does not recognize this, and this is where George steps in. “’I [George] told you not to bring that pup in here.’ ‘What pup, George? I [Lennie] ain’t got no pup.’…He [George] reached down and picked up the tiny puppy from where Lennie had been concealing it against his stomach…’You [Lennie] get right up an’ take this pup back to the nest. He’s gotta sleep with his mother…’” (42-43) Lennie does not deliberately find himself in this situations. He does it unknowingly, and George intervenes and tries to tell Lennie the difference of black and white because Lennie always finds the possible gray area. Undeterred by the situations, George may get a little irascible, but he maintains his companionship with Lennie because he is aware that Lennie is slow at learning, but this does not let him take rash decisions and leave him. As Steinbeck shows in the novel, Of Mice and Men, friendship is not defined by the irregularity in two human beings. Friendship is a feeling, a more unique idea that two human beings share, and it comes from within.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
October 21, 2012