Transactional Essay On ‘Of Mice And Men’ By John Steinbeck Essay, Research Paper

Lennie and George, migratory workers in the California fields,

cherish the dream of having a little farm of their own where as

Lennie’s refrain has it, they can “Live of the fatta o’ the land.”

George yearns for his own place where he could bring in his own

crops instead of working for another. A place where he could get

what comes up from the ground for himself. He wants the full

reward of his own labor. He seeks independence, and to leave his

dependent life completely. These two men seek a status in society,

they feel as though they need to belong, and their dream of having a

farm gives them that feeling that someday their satisfaction will

come. Unfortunately our dreams don’t always coincide with reality.

George and Lennie are two incongruent characters, where one is

small, alert, and clever; the other huge, and powerful, however,

bears the mind of a child. They compliment eachother in many

ways, but deep within they have an inseparable relationship.

“Sometimes you just get used to a guy.” The two have grown

together, and they live a part of eachother. George, being the leader

of the two, has the responsibility of caring for Lennie, who is much

like a child in his ways, however, far more dangerous than his inner

character reflects. George has to keep a watchful eye over Lennie,

for without constant supervision, Lennie would inadvertently kill

anything he touches.

George has towards Lennie the tenderness and protective instinct

which most have towards the helpless, the disadvantaged, and the

dependent. George has encountered and embraced a responsibility,

a social responsibility, and a humanitarian responsibility. It is to

take care of, protect, save from hurt, the dim-witted, loyal, and

devoted Lennie.

George constantly repeats how Lennie is a burden to him, but as

George speaks, and his character becomes plain, you know that life

would be totally meaningless and empty, for him without Lennie to

take care of. Also he has his emotional compensation in Lennie’s

pathetic and dog-like devotion to him.

Lennie is George’s doom, which he accepts in part because he

knows that Lennie cannot live without him and in part because of

love- even Lennie’s poor defective love is precious to him. Year

after year they go on cherishing the dream of someday settling down

on a little farm together, where Lennie will tend the rabbits, and life

for them will have reached their peak.

Lennie kills without hate. Lennie’s actions are responsive only. He

only reacts when something triggers him to. He never instigates his

actions. The pup bit him, therefor he hit the dog. Curley beat on

him, therefor Lennie crushed the bones of his hand. People die

simply because of his strength. Lennie had a condition that the

others could never understand. This is why Lennie had to die

himself, simply because within the society of man, he is abnormal

and weak, and would never stand a chance.

At the climax of the novel, Lennie’s accidental killing of the

women shatters the dream shared by George Candy, and for a short

while, Crooks and died with Lennie. Rather than see Lennie

tragically abused, and rather than let someone else kill him, (as

Candy let another kill his dog and afterward regretted having done

so himself.) George must perform the deed himself. He alone has

the right, for he and Lennie have become one, made so by love and

a shared dream. They are responsible for eathother. The implication

here is that man without hope and love, without a dream, is perhaps

better off dead. The concluding pages to the novel find themselves

in the same setting as the beginning, where they recite for the final

time, their impossible dream which finished when the trigger was

pulled. What was done had to be done, and the story concludes

when both God and man symbolically forgive the murder when the

Godly words of Slim declare “You hadda George, I swear you



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