Of Mice and Men - George and Lennie

2356 Words Jul 12th, 2013 10 Pages
How does Steinbeck present the characters of George and Lennie?
During the Great Depression of the 1930s when America was plunged into financial crisis following the Wall Street Crash of October 1929, levels of unemployment and poverty were at an all time high. In this ear life was a struggle and the mentality of society became survival of the fittest, every man for himself. Migrant workers toured the country in search of labour to provide money for food typically sent to relatives living on the bread line elsewhere in America. These men lead lonely and emotionless lives, which are reflected through Steinbeck’s portrayal of his characters in his famous, yet bleak, 1930s novella ‘Of Mice and Men.’
In the novel, George and Lennie’s
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Evidentially, George does not believe the dream will ever become reality as he rhythmically reels off the words to Lennie as a matter of habit rather than optimism. That said, it is clear that although George does not believe the dream will come true he is thankful to have Lennie by his side ‘somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us’ which perhaps implies that although Steinbeck presents the pair as victims, he also presents them as lucky in the fact that they have each other and care for each other enough to build a firm relationship. To Lennie the dream is all about the rabbits he intends to keep and pet, rather than an engine of hope which drives George to continue the struggle. Lennie excites in the idea that one day he will own a rabbit hutch ‘An’ have rabbits’ because he is unable to see further than his own desires, however George dreams of simplicities such as ‘how thick the cream is on the milk’ implying that all he would like is a stable home. Regardless of their differences in the importance of aspects included in the dream, their dream bonds them together in a shared goal which is to get a ‘stake’ so they can buy ‘a little house and a couple of acres.’ Many migrant workers shared in dreaming of a better future but had nobody to share it with as everyman was for himself, making George and Lennie’s relationship a rare occurrence.
Towards the end of the first chapter,
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