Genesis of Of Mice and Men
The following passage taken from Genesis 1.26-30, Another Account of the Creation, relates to Of Mice and Men in that the characters of each narrative have similar traits and they symbolize the same ideals.
In this particular comparison, Of Mice and Men’s characters include George, Lennie, and Curly’s wife. While in Genesis, the characters are Adam, Eve, and the serpent. The Genesis text states “And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2). This statement accurately describes Lennie, due to the fact that he has the perspective and innocence of a child. A young adolescent lacks empathy, and is not cognizant of feeling embarrassment or shame.
Therefore, because Lennie is childlike, he does not comprehend the mature human psyche. Moreover, he does not understand his own complex emotions; so in the novel Of Mice and Men when George referred to Lennie touching a lady’s skirt, Lennie had no idea what to do when the woman screamed. This caused him to grab the skirt and to not let go, much like a child would do. When children become upset, it is their first reaction to grab their mother or anything that is comforting, such as a stuffed animal. In the book of Genesis, God created Adam and Eve to initially have no shame or embarrassment.
It is when a child, or in this case Adam and Eve, is exposed to the evils of the world and the judgment of others, that they become self-conscious of themselves in a much bigger world. However, in Of Mice and Men, Lennie is an adult even though he has the mind of a child. George represents the maturity and adulthood of man, while conversely, Lennie is trapped in his own childhood, much like Adam and Eve before they ate the fruits of knowledge. In Genesis, the serpent tells Eve to “take from the tree that God had forbidden her to take from” (Genesis 2). The serpent signifies the evil and trickery of the world, as well as the complexities of adulthood. In the novel, Curly’s wife is the serpent.
She represents the evils of adulthood, and the dangers that it presents. She taunts Lennie and takes advantage of his naivety. She flirted with him in an inappropriate manner, which is very adult and foreign to a youthful person like Lennie, who barely understands the evils of man. In Of Mice and Men, Lennie represents Adam and Eve, as well as childhood, while Curly’s wife represent the Serpent and adulthood. The characters in both stories are very similar, particularly in the ideals that they symbolize.