Of Mice and Men Essay

John Steinbeck’s novel has several main ambitions. It tries to show the relationship that can live between two men without the obvious thought of homosexuality, the relationship of the only female on the men-run ranch, the undercurrents that exist with Candy’s relationship with his old dog and others, which are less obvious. Nothing is as it seems, because of the amount of concealing of true emotions from each other through no discussion, apart from the fantasy life George uses to help Lennie be happy.
George takes responsibility for Lennie, even to the last part, where he kills him to ensure he does not get punished for everything he does wrong. He does this with a type of love that would be considered odd in today’s world, as it combines maternal love, friendship and perhaps elements of control, but the main thing visible is the determination George has to ensure Lennie will never suffer too much. To be certain of this, George takes the supreme step of shooting Lennie to keep him out of the clutches of the mob who want to lynch him. Although he genuinely gets angry with Lennie, he will never let anything make him unhappy and spends much time involving Lennie in a fantasy world where small creatures and the two of them can live happily.
Lennie is simple; that is shown from the start. However, he is an innocent simpleton. His desire to pet small and rather helpless creatures shows this, but that he has no idea of how to do so many things, including pet small animals so he does not hurt them is also shown. Lennie comes to depend on George for anything, including life. Lennie continually seeks George’s approval and cannot understand, apart from in a very fundamental way, why George gets grumpy and angry with him. All he can understand is George is annoyed or irritated, but not exactly, how this came about.
The only female on the ranch is considered a slut. She is not a bad person, but is bored. Bored with her marriage and her life, so she tries to take her mind off the boredom by flirting with any other man, apart from her husband, Curly. The other men do not recognize this need for more in her behavior, therefore, consider her simply a slut. However, flirting has been a way of life for her so long; she does not realize it can mean danger for her. Again, what is not said is the true meaning of the scenes, not what is visible.
In this whole book, Steinbeck shows how much everyone conceals his or her different and most intimate emotions, which results finally in Lennie’s death by his friend, because George considers death for Lennie by his hand instead of being lynched by strangers is better. Carlson is surprised at the angst George feels for shooting Lennie, but he has no real idea of the relationship that existed between them, nor the underlying emotions unsaid around the ranch.

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