Pre AP English 9
10 October 2018 Power and Responsibility: Can There Be One without the Other?
The relationship between Lennie and George that keeps them together throughout the whole story is a very strong bond involving George to be overpowering Lennie. Steinbeck comprehends that having a little control or power is initiated by their American dream they have together. That dream being George and Lennie owing a farm together and Lennie getting to tend the rabbits but Lennie is always retold how stress-free life could be without George having to take care of him. Steinbeck’s characterization conveys his belief that George’s power over Lennie is caused by the vision they have together.
To begin with, Steinbeck uses characterization to convey power. Lennie is a big man that has a mental disorder and he is also overwhelmingly strong. George is the direct opposite of Lennie, George is a skinny clever man who has to take care of Lennie because of his condition. That characterization gives the reader an intellect that George should be taking care and overpowering Lennie because he is the one with the common sense and not the disorder. Everything starts with George and ends with George. They were applying for a job and George lies to the boss and tells him he told “his old lady I’d take care of him” (Steinbeck, 20). The boss believes him and as a result the boss relies on George to take care of Lennie. Lennie is forced to do whatever George tells him to do because George is the one with the power and smarts.
In addition, being responsible for someone can create a bond but can also cause tension. George having the power over Lennie also gives him a responsibility and causes a conflict. George is to handle everything and that is how it’s always been but that gets in the way when Curley wants to talk to the “big guy”. George basically tells Curley that if you talk to one you’re talking to both of us when he says, “We travel together” (Steinbeck, 25.) George is the leader of Lennie and because of that George speaks for Lennie and that’s just the way it is. That goes into George having power over Lennie because George told Lennie not to talk and he didn’t talk even though Lennie could easily overpower George being how big he is.
Furthermore, George is speaking to slim and he tells him that, “I’ve beat the hell outta him and he could bust every bone in my body (Steinbeck, 40). Here the reader is shown the physical power of Lennie has over George.