Lennie is “jes’ like a kid. There ain’t no more harm in him than a kid neither, except he’s so strong” (Steinbeck 43). His problem is, he does not know of his own strength and does not know how to control it in certain cases, especially when he is frightened. For example, when Curley attacked Lennie, Lennie grabbed onto Curley’s hand and held on. He was so frightened he could not let go, busting every bone in Curley’s hand. Lennie “didn’t wanna hurt him” but he is just too strong (Steinbeck 64). Later in the story, Lennie’s incredible strength causes two deaths, first he kills a puppy and then Curley’s wife. Lennie didn’t mean to kill the puppy, he explained that he “was jus’ playin’ with him… an’ he made like he’s gonna bite me… an’ I made like I was gonna smack him... an’… an’ I done it. An’ he was dead” (Steinbeck 87). Lennie was worried after he killed the puppy because he thought George wasn’t going to let him tend to the rabbits when they bought the farm. Shortly after Lennie killed the puppy, he killed Curley’s wife. He likes to touch soft things and when she lets him touch her hair, “she jerked her head sideways and Lennie’s fingers closed on her hair and hung on” (Steinbeck 91). She started to scream, which made Lennie panic. He tried to get her to be quiet “and he shook her; and her body flopped like a fish. And then she was still, for Lennie had broken her neck” (Steinbeck 91). After he
In his short book or novella Of Mice and Men, author John Steinbeck draws attention to migrant farm workers in the Depression era of the 1930s. Through his story he looks at human nature in the areas of men’s friendship, loneliness, and meanness or bullying. This essay looks at Steinbeck’s depiction of the tendency to bully others and that the tendency seems to come from their own weakness. This meanness is shown in the relationships of the characters. The bullying is physical, psychological, and emotional and nearly all of the characters demonstrate it, including George, Candy, Crooks, and Curley’s wife and it is contrasted to the unintentional violence of Lennie.
Lennie is a big and a powerful man. Steinbeck makes it clear that he is a very good worker and should not be made mad at all. But he also is not that smart, which makes him dumb to act when he is supposed to fight or not fight. On page 39 in “Of Mice and Men” Steinbeck wrote, “There ain’t nobody can keep up with him. God awmighty I never seen such a strong guy.” Lennie is a very strong guy that nearly killed one of the other workers bucking barley because he was too fast. Later in the novel Lennie breaks all of the bones in Curly's hand. This shows how Lennie is a very strong person that can kill people very easily.
He does this to make Lennie realise how lucky he is to have some on that he could rely on. But as Lennie is so vulnerable he gets angry and scares off Crooks. Lennie is a person who likes to touch soft things and is vulnerable to Curley’s wife as well as she knows she can talk to someone who won’t take advantage of him. Lennie being dumb is a harsh reality but as an innocent person causes bad things to happen.
When it comes to destructiveness, Lennie and George project it throughout the novella. Lennie ends up killing everything he pets from animals all the way to humans. He kills a pup by petting it vigorously. Lennie "di'n't know" (Steinbeck,90) the pup would "get killed so easy" (Steinbeck,90); and he assumes he "didn't bounce" (Steinbeck,90) the pup that "hard" (Steinbeck,90). This shows how Lennie's lack of mental acuity leads him to not realizing how powerful he could be. Lennie ends up petting the pup way too rough and "he's dead" (Steinbeck,90). Lennie strives to pet larger things since he believes he will not end up killing it. This is not true since he ended up killing Curley's wife when he strokes her hair. Lennie "was in panic" (Steinbeck,91) when Curley's wife told him to "let go" (Steinbeck,91), then "he shook her; and her body flopped like a fish. And then she was still, for Lennie had broken her
Lennie is unquestioning in his loyalty to George. We see this in George’s anecdote about the Sacramento River. “‘Jump in.’ An’ he jumps”(P66) Lennie has a childlike obedience. Steinbeck shows us this in the fight between Lennie and Curley. Earlier on, George tells Lennie to not fight with Curley, Lennie remembers this and due to his childlike obedience, his “hands remained at his sides; he was too frightened to defend himself.”(P91). Once George tells Lennie to “Get him”(P91), Lennie immediately crushes Curley’s hand completely. Most mature people would know whether they should break the rules or not, because they wouldn’t get as badly hurt, but with Lennie, it is a different story. It is this childlike obedience that Steinbeck uses to show us how George needs to act as a parent towards Lennie.
Throughout the story Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, Curley's wife plays an important role to conclude the ending resolution of the novel, even though she is only presented in-person three times. Each time she shows her expressions both physical and mentally. During the course of the story you see Curley's wife is a tramp and she uses her body to get attention from the men on the ranch. At the beginning of the story, George and Lennie meet Curley's wife at the bunk house; both have their own impression about her. Then the next two times she is involved in the story, Lennie gets to spend time with her in Crook's room and in the barn.
Lennie is an innocent, unknowing of what's going on around him type of person. All he really knows is that he likes things that feel soft and that is what ends up getting him kill. He is so focused on not having George mad at him and not letting him tend to the rabbits that he accidentally kills Curley's wife. “"Don't you go yellin'," he said, and he shook her; and her body flopped like a fish. And then she was still, for Lennie had broken her neck.”(xx) Lennie just killed Curley's wife and he has done a lot of bad things but never murdered someone. This is the last straw for George and when he hunts him down in the woods, he kills Lennie because he is at a loss of hope for Lennie. Lennie has a tendency to kill small animals by accident and
I found Lennie playin’ with his pup in the last stall in the barn. It was dead when I got there. He probably crushed it just like he did with Curley’s hand. They must think I’m stupid or somethin’-obviously it was Lennie who crushed ‘is hand. Lennie’s too strong for his own good. For some reason, George doesn’t want me to talk to Lennie. Well, I don’t think I’m any harm
In the book Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, George and Lennie learn to travel and experience the world together as they take on a new job working on a ranch in central California "bucking barley" for the ranch owner and his son. Lennie, not being able to control his actions, hurts too many people and things and men were chasing after the two, so George decides to take action and shoot Lennie. Although some may disagree, George did the right thing by shooting Lennie because he could not have avoided hurting someone else in the future, he could not eventually learn that the things he did were wrong due to his disability, and he could not learn to eventually control his own strength.
Lennie’s inability to think for himself and know the difference between right and wrong is most apparent in his actions when he talks. Even though Lennie’s physical strength makes him appear to be a person of power, his physical strength is the only form of power that he possesses. Lennie is constantly powerless against his mind’s perception that limits him to behave in a child-like manner against the consequences of his actions. For example, he knows that he needs to act correctly and does not want to do bad things, however he lacks the mental capability of an adult that lets him differentiate what’s right from wrong causing him to rely on George for protection and guidance.
Even George, who acted as Lennie’s protector in the novel, lost his temper and lashed out at Lennie in certain situations. "Blubberin’ like a baby! Jesus Christ! A big guy like you!" Lennie’s lip quivered and tears started in his eyes” (9). In this situation, George failed to realize that Lennie’s mental state was not quite stable, and that the best way to deal with him is to be kind and gentle. However, other characters treated Lennie far worse than George did. Curley was persistently trying to pick a fight with Lennie, not realizing that Lennie did not understand the concept of fighting, and even when provoked would fail to fight back. When Lennie kills Curley’s wife, Curley fails to realize that Lennie committed this horrific crime unintentionally, and instead is blinded with rage. “I’ll kill the big son-of-a-bitch myself. I’ll shoot ‘im in the guts” (96). Curley is too bent on revenge to discern that Lennie’s murderous act may have been unintentional, and is therefore not taking Lennie’s mental instability into
Violence plays a key part in John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice And Men, and there must be a reasoning behind this. In this essay I will pick apart some of the acts of violence that feature in the book, and try to explore why Steinbeck has included each one, how it develops the novel, the characters in it and helps him convey the key themes or messages he wishes to incorporate in his “valley of the world.”
Of Mice and Men was written during a period of racism. In the 1960's it was important for everyone to get along with eachother because not everyone was equal. George and Lennie showed a great part in friendship throught the whole book. At the ranch in Selinas mostly everyone showed friendship in some way. Friendship was a great factor when the book was published because of all the racism going on at the time.
Lennie is the gentlest person anyone could meet, he just sometimes cannot remember if he has met them or not. Lennie’s exterior is a rugged, burley kind of guy, but in this book, he is just a big teddy bear who would never dream of hurting anyone. Yet again, looks can be deceiving. Although he is willing to pick up a dead mouse so he could “pet it with [his] thumb while [they] walked along (6), there are people that are incredibly intimidated by him and his strength. For instance, Curley wanted to beat George up mainly because he was bigger than he was. Even though people associate with him, they don’t treat him like one of their own. Lennie is the muscles, that’s all. His physical appearance contradicts his mental appearance. From a distance, Lennie is a huge man who seems as though he could beat someone to the ground if they looked at him wrong, but in reality, he is nice to anyone. Due to George, Lennie can actually confront the world. Most times Lennie is not mentally stable