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Of Mice and Men

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Throughout history, many works of literature have developed a character in which their actions are considered immoral, yet have a second side for justification. This character analysis clearly develops in John Steinbeck's tragic comedy "Of Mice and Men." The two main characters, Lennie and George have a close-knit friendship which shatters at the end of the book. In exploring George's decision at the end, the reader sympathizes greatly with Lennie and wonders if George's actions were humane.
Lennie is mentally retarded, and George is his help for survival. Steinbeck chose to bring out Lennie's character by well-written conversations with George. it is Lennie's dream to have a ranch with George and "live offa the fatta the lan'." Although Lennie is a big, full grown man, his mental capacity only reaches that of an eight year old. With George as his friend, Lennie loves him and obeys George constantly. Lennie's speech and his innocent countenance are emphasized in the book. The irony that Lennie is so big, yet dumb also ties into his dangerous, unintentional grasp. Lennie kills the things that he loves-a puppy, a mouse, and eventually a lady.
Given the full side of Lennie, the reader finds emotions, dealing with Lennie's nature. Even though Lennie did kill a lady, he did not mean to. This act itself, could be considered very wrong, but because of the close relationship the reader has with his character, Lennie is easily forgiven. Lennie realizes that he has done something wrong, and hurriedly runs away, waiting for George to meet him. Because the author presented a full representation of Leenie, the reader feels as though they can see him and understand what his character is like, and why he would commit such a crime. If the character was not as developed, the sympathy would not be as strong, and one might question Lennie's actions.

While the reader might question Lennie, the closing scene where George kills Lennie breaks the reader's heart, and brings more sympathy that it could have if Lennie lived. John Steinbeck described Lennie very well through his grammar and diction. Although Lennie committed a serious crime, through the diction and exploration of his character, the sympathetic heart strings twang in every reader.





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