How Does Steinbeck Show the Importance of Friendship in the Novel "Of Mice and Men"?

1924 Words Jan 19th, 2015 8 Pages
"Of Mice and Men" is a book about two men and their struggle to achieve their dream of owning a small ranch through their companionship. The two men are completely different, one being a retarded fellow (Lennie), and the other, a typical ranch hand(George) who travels with him. On the path to achieving their dream, they run into obstacles, but stick together, stressing the importance of true friendship. Steinbeck wrote this book to tell us how important it is to have a friend to share your life with.

The book starts off set in Soledad, which, when translated into English means "lonely". But when Lennie and George are together, they are anything but lonely. They share a friendship so great that if either person dies, or both are
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The dialogue which follows is important as we can hear their voices; we can hear George’s parental tone and Lennie’s childish tone. We see George referring to Lennie as a “crazy bastard” to Lennie’s face, but as a “poor bastard” to himself. This shows us that George feels pity for him deep down inside. Steinbeck uses a mouse to show us childish Lennie. George says for Lennie to give him the mouse, but Steinbeck uses one of the best metaphors of what a child would do. Lennie made “an elaborate pantomime of innocence.”(P26) This is just like what a child would do. The ‘child’ tries to play innocent and pretends he doesn’t have it, reluctant to give it away, but the ‘parent’ knows that he really does and holds out his hand “outstretched imperiously.”(P26) George sees Lennie as a burden. George gives Lennie a speech, “George exploded”(P28). He tells Lennie how he “could live so easy…No trouble”(P28-29). However, George looked ashamedly afterwards. Lennie tells George that he will go on up into the mountains and live on his own, but then George realises that he couldn’t let Lennie do that. George tells Lennie to come back here if he gets in any trouble and when Lennie promises George that he “won’t say a word”(P33), George replies saying; “Good Boy!”(P33). Steinbeck includes this answer for George as that is what a parent is likely to say to their child. Steinbeck

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