Examples Of Symbiosis In Of Mice And Men

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Defined as a close relationship between two organisms of different kinds (Dictionary, Collins English.), symbiosis is the perfect concept to construe the brotherly bond between George Milton and Lennie Small in “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, as both men aid one another physically and emotionally in the pursuit of their dream. Nevertheless, there remains a negative outlook on the term “symbiosis”. Overlooked often is the fact that it also can be defined as detrimental to one organism, while the other prospers, and this fact can be further used to highlight the men’s symbiotic relationship. Juxtaposing this is the infamous duo featured in Truman Capote’s acclaimed novel, “In Cold Blood, Richard "Dick" Hickock and Perry Smith. Epitomizing…show more content…
This quotation from the author himself is adept at summarizing the emotional symbiosis between Lennie and George. Both prosper, as the two men undoubtedly contribute to a healthy relationship emotionally. Lennie continuously supports George and repeats their wish to “live off the fatta the lan’” (16), maintaining George’s determination, willpower and overall hard work to succeed, so, strictly speaking, George evidently benefits emotionally. Repetition of this dream throughout the novel allows both men a consistent, positive outlook on life, despite the negative, depression-era context of the novel, where the world preys on the weak (such as Lennie). Nevertheless, as displayed in the opening scene at the pool, the readers apprehend as to just how benign Milton is to Small emotionally. Viewed as a paternal figure, George exemplifies the authority and guidance his companion requires; “Lennie!” he said sharply. “Lennie, for God’ sakes don’t drink so much.” (5) Without the leadership and emotional navigation provided, Lennie’s emotional stronghold would be nonexistent, and the damage that could be caused would be furthermore detrimental. Undeniably, this example exhibits the effectiveness of their emotional reliance on each other, as in strenuous times, the men end up with a more tenacious affiliation. With regards to the…show more content…
1973). Unfortunately, the alternative version of symbiosis transpires, and proves beneficial to Lennie but detrimental to George. In spite of the subconscious universal laws that are discernable, such as the strong prey on the weak, Lennie’s physical strength and build prove ineffectual. Being utterly hopeless and accordingly superfluous takes more of a toll on George, and he is aware of the devastation Lennie’s vulnerability will cause him, but cannot suffer abandoning him as he is the sole person that Lennie physically benefits from. Introduced in the opening scene is the notion of a “ripple effect”, a metaphor for whatever Lennie commits, his action will return to him. Steinbeck deemed this ripple effect a Phalanx Theory, which says there is a difference between the individual on his own and as part of a group (Salazar, Marcia). Ultimately, the image of the ripples returning to Lennie portray that actions cause consequences, and unfortunately George suffers as a result. Lennie is physically injurious to his companion, and leaves George no choice but to kill him, as he doesn’t have the luxury of ethics in this cruel world. Steinbeck employs George as the prime carer for
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