Last Updated 20 Apr 2022

How Does Steinbeck Present the Relationship Between George and Lennie in the Novel?

Category Of Mice and Men
Words 382 (1 page)
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Steinbeck presents the relationship between George and Lennie by utilizing a number of literary techniques and devices, particularly in the first 3 section. The skilled and careful presentation of this relationship forms the foundation upon which almost all of the novella's prevailing themes are structured, from the preciousness of companionship to the futility of dreams (and, in particular, the so-called American Dream). The first paragraph focussing on the men (second paragraph, page 4) opens with the sentence: "They had walked single file down the path, and even in the open one stayed behind the other".

Immediately, Steinbeck portrays the essence of George and Lennie's relationship through this first quote about the men: that this relationship had a hierarchy; it was a leader-and-follower relationship, with one member guiding the other. The entire book revolves around this concept (George being Lennie's carer as Lennie cannot lead himself), so it is appropriate that Steinbeck chooses this idea to be the cornerstone of the reader's understanding of their relationship.

However, in order to avoid any assumption that one man was better than the other, Steinbeck dissolves the idea of a hierarchy immediately as he details the similarities between the two men, all of which refer to clothing and possessions, such as them both being "dressed in denim trousers and denim coats with brass buttons", and having "black, shapeless hats" and "tight blanket rolls slung over their shoulders".

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Through their sole similarities being material possessions, Steinbeck shows that these two men are completely equal in circumstance and situation, intensifying attention on and the significance of their physical and mental differences. Steinbeck follows this with detailed and highly contrasting descriptions of the two men. He first describes the leader, using words such as "small and quick", "slender" and "sharp".

This does not create the image of a traditional leader, a fact which is compounded with the description of a "huge man" with "wide, sloping shoulders" as his follower. Steinbeck uses these departures from convention to indicate that there is an alternative reason why the leader leads the follower other than the traditional case of the pack following the strongest member. It is obvious that, although Lennie is the stronger and bigger of the two, he is content following a man who is several degrees smaller than him. The reason behind this is hinted

How Does Steinbeck Present the Relationship Between George and Lennie in the Novel? essay

Related Questions

on How Does Steinbeck Present the Relationship Between George and Lennie in the Novel?

How does Steinbeck portray the essence of George and Lennie's relationship?

Immediately, Steinbeck portrays the essence of George and Lennie's relationship through this first quote about the men: that this relationship had a hierarchy; it was a leader-and-follower relationship, with one member guiding the other.

How are George and Lennie described in of mice and men?

Analysing the relationship between George and Lennie in Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”. Lennie is “huge”, ” shapeless of face” and often dehumanized to be that of a bear. However, George on the other hand, is small, quick and thin with, “restless eyes” and “slender arms”. This description is a form of juxtaposition,

How does Steinbeck use structural motifs in of mice and men?

Analysing the relationship between George and Lennie in Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”. Also, embedded frequently throughout the book, is the use of structural motifs. In particular, the recurring element of the ‘American Dream’, and it’s dismal achievability, is used to signify the relationship between Lennie and George.

Why does George not choose to walk beside Lennie?

There are two very contradicting sides to the relationship, most of which is caused purely because George walks in front, although the reader sees Lennie as the disruption and the burden, why does George not choose to walk beside Lennie, why does he rather have him walk behind if they share such a good relationship together.

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How Does Steinbeck Present the Relationship Between George and Lennie in the Novel?. (2017, Jan 09). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/how-does-steinbeck-present-the-relationship-between-george-and-lennie-in-the-novel/

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