Essay title: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Throughout the novel Steinbeck portrays Lennie as an innocent character who is fond of soft things and one who does not anticipate danger. As a hint of his mental disability, we find at the very beginning of the novel an instance where Lennie is caressing a dead mouse. Lennie is clearly vulnerable to many dangerous circumstances as he lacks the discriminating capacity of a normal human being.
His naïve and unsuspecting nature leads him to a lot of troubles. Time and again George has to intervene to protect Lennie from many precarious circumstances which he manages to land himself into because of his naive nature. Curley, the farm owner’s son, is a jealous character who suspects his flirtatious wife. When Lennie gets to mix freely with Mrs. Curley, George rightly warns him of the danger.
George assumes a caring, advising, protecting and dominating role in the friendship which is evident when he warns Lennie of drinking too much and spoiling his health. He also arranges for them to meet in the Salinas River whenever they land up in any trouble. The next day George meets Slim, a mule driver and an influential person in the ranch and they get to understand each other.
George confides in Slim about his true relationship with Lennie (a childhood friend) and the troubles that Lennie lands them into so often. George tells Slim that they lost their previous job because Lennie was trying to touch a woman’s cloth and was falsely accused of rape crime. George even admits to Slim that he abused Lennie once for his pleasure and that he repents it. In the novel we also note how well Steinbeck sets the tone of what is to happen in the future. He treats us early in the novel that is better to kill a suffering dog than.