A Character and Moral Study of George Milton: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

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In a scientific study, it was found that people are the best version of themselves when they are around other people. However, during the Great Depression, the idea of human companionship was drowned out by the lonely road that many men walked in search of jobs. This period showed the true impacts of the loneliness of man and also asked very important questions: are we responsible for the welfare of others? Or is it better to just be alone? In John Steinheck’s novel Of Mice and Men, one of the protagonists, George Milton, struggles with this very concept. Stuck with his disabled best friend, Lennie Small, he feels a sense of responsibility towards Lennie, but also acknowledges how much easier his life would be without Lennie. Although…show more content…
George also hid himself and Lennie in an irrigation ditch in Weed after Lennie got in trouble for touching a girl’s soft red dress. However, George also uses his cleverness at the end of the novel after killing Lennie with Carlson’s gun. He says that Lennie had Carlson’s gun and Lennie had get it away from him before killing him, which is also a lie. Although Lennie’s clever nature often is used in a compassionate way, it must be noted that he also uses his street smarts for more nefarious and selfish purposes. Outside of George being a man with a lot of common sense and intelligence, he also is very compassionate. Perhaps not as much as Slim, but almost everything George does is impassioned and driven by his deep care for Lennie. There is a lot of debate as to whether George killing Lennie was a selfish act. However, George’s body language in the last moment of Lennie’s life expresses true caring and even love. John Steinbeck’s describes George as stiff and monotonous. He describes George’s actions with Carlson’s gun by saying “The hand shook violently, but his face set and his hand steadied” (Steinbeck 106). George was terrified and sorry to kill his best friend, but realized it had to be done. Whether or not it was a selfless act is another story, but there is no question that some of George’s motivation came from a compassionate place. Another place George displays compassion is how terribly he wants to buy the dream farm, not only for him, but

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