A Lasting Friendship- Of Mice And Men - Berkshire/ English - Essay

1579 words - 7 pages

Hannah Espinosa
Mrs. Kiczek
4th Period
A Lasting Friendship
“It jus’ seems kind of funny a cuckoo like him and a smart little guy like you travelin’
together” (39). Many people who have read John Steinbeck’s ​Of Mice and Men, ​most likely had
this same thought. Within the first few pages of the novella, many readers are able to recognize
that George and Lennie are complete opposites. Yet, somehow they managed to stay together.
People sometimes forget that the time period was during the Great Period and that many took
what they got and did not complain. Steinbeck wanted to show how the time period affected the
people and what they did to survive through it. For George and Lennie, having each other
allowed them to get through it. Not only did they travel together, but they were able to help each
other along the way. George and Lennie were able to stay together because of Lennie’s mental
disability, they gave each other companionship, and they were able to give each other hopes and
In John Steinbeck’s ​Of Mice and Men, ​Lennie’s mental disability caused George to
sacrifice his whole life in order to take care of him. Lennie could not survive on his own because
he was unable to think for himself. He was always looking at George for guidance of what to do:
“Lennie was looking hopelessly to George for instructions. ‘An’n you won’t let the big guy talk,
is that it?’ ‘He can talk if he wants to tell you anything.’ He nodded slightly to Lennie. ‘We jus’
come in,’ said Lennie softly” (25/26). Even though George told Lennie before the interview to
not say anything at all, when the plans changed, Lennie did not know what to do. He was
specifically told to follow George’s instructions and that is what he did. It was not until George
had to hint to him that it was alright to speak. Many normal people would have picked up, that if
they did not say anything it would cause suspicion, so they would have spoken. Lennie though,
did not notice this and had to wait until George told tell him what to do. Since George helped
Lennie, they were able to get the jobs. George is not much, but because Lennie was so big and
they were together, they both got hired. Lennie got them the job, and George helped Lennie get
them. To follow that, Lennie could never remember anything. No matter what it was, he had a
hard time recalling everything, unless it was their dream: “‘I remember a lady used to give’em to
me-’... George scoffed. ‘Lady, huh? Don’t even remember who that lady was. That was your
own Aunt Clara’” (9). Lennie’s own family he could not even remember. She raised him when
he was a boy, until she died. Then George decided to take care of him because he knew that
Lennie could not survive on his own. Even though George could have had a better life, taking
care of Lennie made him feel important. He felt like he was needed and that he was so “God
damn smart alongside of him” (40). George may have gotten angry at times when Lennie could
not remember, but he never left him because he grew to care about him over the years. Leaving
Lennie alone, was not an option for George because he knew that without him, Lennie would
have had a difficult time living on his own.
In addition, George and Lennie were kept together in John Steinbeck’s novella ​Of Mice
and Men ​because they gave each other a friend during the Great Depression. Having a
companion was uncommon during that time period, but for the two friends it was completely
normal. They knew each other from when they were younger, so they were able to form a unique
friendship, which lasted for many years: “ It ain’t so funny, him an’ me goin’ aroun’
together...Him and me was both born in Auburn. I knowed his Aunt Clara... When his Aunt
Clara died, Lennie just come along with me out workin’. Got kinda used to each other after a
while” (40). Many people traveled on their own during the Great Depression because it was
easier to take care of just themselves. They never stayed in one place long enough to form a
relationship with anyone. Since Lennie and George knew each other for many years, they got
comfortable with one another and were able to learn more about each other. George did not
accept Lennie for who he was when they were first together because he told Slim that he had fun
playing jokes on him. He changed this when he almost drowned Lennie and when he thanked
him for pulling him out, thinking that he was being nice. After this, George realized that Lennie
had a kind soul and that he could not help the way that he was, so he decided that he was not be a
bad person to live with after all. Being together for a while, George and Lennie realized that
having one another kept them sane. They saw what loneliness can do to other people: “[It] ain’t
no good. They don’t have no fun. After a long time they get mean. They get wantin’ to fight all
the time” (41). People like Curley’s wife, was someone that the two friends did not want to
become if they were alone. She was manipulative, mean, and always wanted to get the men on
the ranch in trouble. She did all these things because she was lonely. Even though she was
married to Curley, the two were never in the same room. In the novella, they were always
looking for one another, so she would always seek for attention because she did not get enough
from her husband. Although, for Lennie and George, they knew that their friendship is what kept
them alive because “ I [Lennie] got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you” (14).
George could have left Lennie because he was not like most people, but then he would have been
alone too, and he did not want that. Having one another to talk to during the Great Depression, is
what kept the two friends together.
Furthermore, in the novella ​Of Mice and Men ​by John Steinbeck, Lennie and George are
kept together by developing a dream that they wanted to have between the two. Having this, gave
them the motivation to keep going during the difficult time period. It gave them something to
look forward to: “‘Someday- we’re gonna get the jack together and we’re gonna have a little
house and a couple of acres an’ a cow and some pigs…’ ‘An’ live off the fatta the lan’...An’ have
rabbits. Go on, George!...How I get to tend the rabbits” (14). Even though Lennie knew the
dream from repeating it so many times, he still got excited about it. He did not care what they
went through to get the land, as long as he got to tend the rabbits. The dream was a distraction
for Lennie. Also, the workers always tried to tell Lennie and George that their dream was
impossible to have, but it made the two friends want it even more, just to prove them wrong.
Many of the workers thought that they could not get their dream, but they did not know the
commitment that the two friends had between them: “Guys like us, that work on the ranches…
ain’t got nothing to look ahead to...With us it ain’t like that. We got a future’... ‘It ain’t no lie.
We’re gonna do it’” (13/14 & 69). George and Lennie stuck with their dream because Lennie
was convinced that it could happen, which helped George feel the same way. He wanted the
dream as much as Lennie wanted it, but he knew that there was a possibility that it could not
happen. If there was no Lennie, there was no dream, and vice versa. Being with Lennie though,
made it easier to believe that it could. He did not want to ruin this for Lennie, so he acted like the
dream could really happen, all for him. Having the same thought of a better future, kept the two
friends together.
In John Steinbeck’s ​Of Mice and Men​, Lennie and George are kept together because of
Lennie’s disability, the two gave each other companionship, and because they both had the same
dream. George used to say that he could have had a better life if he did not have Lennie, but he
stayed with him because he was unable to take care of himself. He had poor memory and could
not think on his own. Not only did they stay together because of his disability, but because they
gave each other companionship. They knew each other for years, which allowed them to get
close and to develop a relationship. Since they had each other to talk to, they did not become
crazy like most did because they were lonely. Lastly, they were able to create a dream that they
both wanted to have sometime in the future. It helped them get through the tough time period of
the Great Depression. “A good friend is a connection to life- a tie to the past, a road to the future,
the key to sanity in a totally insane world.” -Lois Wyse.

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