Self-Discovery Through Relationship in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

Decent Essays

Relationships are the key to learning about oneself. The novel Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, proves that a relationship with another results in self-discovery. Throughout the story, it is shown that Lennie causes George to learn more about himself through friendship, responsibility, and his need for others. Lennie’s presence in George’s life causes George to learn about his friendship. An example of this is when George talks to a friend about his relationship with Lennie. He says that “Lennie just come along with me out workin’. Got kinda used to each other after a little while” (Steinbeck, 89). George implies that Lennie is different from others, however their relationship grows despite this. It is shown that as George spends with …show more content…

George sees that Lennie believed him the entire time, and realizes that he has been responsible for Lennie. This proves that Lennie causes George to be a responsible person. Another example of this can be found right was George is about to shoot Lennie. Lennie said “I thought you was mad at me… No, said George, I ain’t mad. I never been bad, an’ I ain’t now. That’s a thing I want ya to know” (Steinbeck, 103). Shortly after, George decides that it is time and fires the gun. George says to Lennie that he was not mad at him, and the reason he was going to shoot him was because others were mad at him and were going to kill him. The quote shows that George took responsibility for Lennie and saved him from the violent death he was soon to face, by ending Lennie’s life in a less frightening manner. This proves that Lennie causes George to show responsibility. Through Lennie, George begins to experience the need for others as well. One example of this is when Lennie feels like George doesn’t want him. Lennie says, “If you don’ wan me I can g off in the hills an’ find a cave. I can go away any time” George replied, “No – look! I was jus’ foolin’, Lennie. ‘Cause I want you to stay with me” (Steinbeck, 16). Lennie gets the feeling that George does not like him, so he threatens to leave. George quickly contradicts Lennie’s thought by saying that he wants him to stay with him. George realizes that being with others is better that being on his

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