Irresponsibility In Steinbeck's 'Of Mice And Men'

Superior Essays
Pulling the Trigger Twice In Steinbeck’s of Mice and Men, the book reveals a story about two close friends, George and Lennie, who travel together from job to job. George is given the task of being Lennie’s caretaker after the death of Lennie’s Aunt Clara. Lennie has serious mental disabilities, giving George a huge responsibility. George tries to keep control of Lennie while maintaining a friendship with him yet he forgets about his responsibilities as a caretaker. Although George’s job is to protect Lennie from his own undeveloped behaviors, Steinbeck reveals that George’s irresponsibility as Lennie’s caretaker consequently leads to his dear friend’s violent death.
In of Mice and Men, George becomes Lennie’s caretaker after already having
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When George is present he knows how to handle most situations that are thrown his way. Too often he shows a lack of responsibility throughout the book. George told Lennie what he should do in most situations, but lacked being there for Lennie. Numerous times in the book, Lennie is left vulnerable to antagonists of the book while George is off leaving Lennie by himself. In chapter 4, Lennie is left alone while George heads off to the flophouse, Lennie wanders into Crook’s bedroom where after a while, Curly’s wife enters the room and Lennie becomes fascinated by her. Curly’s wife confesses “Funny thing, If I catch any one man, and he’s alone, I get along fine with him.” [Steinbeck 75] This foreshadows the end, she would go on later to talk to Lennie about his bruises implying, “O.K., Machine. I’ll talk to you later. I like machines.” [Steinbeck 78] These two quotes show how Curly’s wife easily took advantage of Lennie by flirting with him. If George was there with him, Lennie wouldn’t have gotten into any trouble with her. After a while of being on the ranch, while George is playing a game of horseshoes, Lennie is by himself in the barn. Curly’s wife sneaks into the barn and takes advantage of Lennie, trying to woo him. This situation leads to the death of Curly’s Wife as said here “She continued to struggle, and her eyes were wild with terror. He shook her then and he was angry …show more content…
George was given a task of watching out for Lennie, and he failed. Lennie committed a horrific act and he did not know any better. George has the responsibility to watch out for his friend, because without George, Lennie is helpless like a small child. George was irresponsible from the moment he was given the task of looking out for Lennie. Being his caregiver was a fulltime job and he often took a part time approach. George seems to trust Lennie when he really just wants to spend time alone. George should have known better then taking Lennie with him to various jobs, because each job site led to a disaster. For example, Lennie was caught trying to touch the dress of another lady that was on the ranch, and George was not present when this happened. To quote “Jus’ wanted to feel that girl’s dress-Jus’ wanted to pet it like it was a mouse- Well, how the hell did she know you jus’ wanted to feel her dress? She jerks back and you hold on like it was a mouse.” [Steinbeck 13] George yells at him while knowing he has disabilities; it shows the irresponsible side to George. Furthermore, George’s fault of leaving his friend by himself ultimately leads to his untimely death, Lennie not knowing any better, committed wrongful acts that seemed ok to him, which led to George having to put him down. The narrator describes it as, “He pulled the trigger. The crash of the shot rolled up the hills

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