Of Mice and Men: What are friends for?
Set in Soledad, California on a typical Western Ranch, we find George and Lennie. George and Lennie come right out of John Steinbeck's novel, Of mice and men. Of mice and men is a novel which shows the trials and tribulations of true friendship. This novel, with all of its twists and turns is a great piece of American Literature.
There are two main characters, George and Lennie. Lennie is a massive man with incredible strength but has a child's mind. George is a fairly sized man who is not incredibly brilliant but has good common sense. What one man lacks, the other makes up for. It is a perfect example of how opposites attract. They are a perfect match, and that is why they have a truly great friendship.
Although, no matter how much he tries, George cannot make up for the huge gap in Lennies mind. Lennie is so childish it is hard to believe, for example when he sees things he wants to grab and touch them. Throughout the book, the stress of Lennie's retardation begins to weigh down on George. Because of Lennie, they are nomads. Wherever they go, Lennie gets them in trouble. At there last location in a town named Weed, Lennie grabbed a woman's dress to feel it and soon startled the woman with his overwhelming strength. So, once again George had to rescue Lennie, and with that they had to move again. George knew he could leave Lennie and have a great life, but what was a friend for. He couldn't just abandon Lennie.
So on to the next ranch they went. This time it just gets worse. In one confrontation with the boss's wife, things go terribly wrong. Lennie knows he is not supposed to talk to her, but he was trapped. As Lennie tried to wiggle out of her grip, is when things turned from bad to worse. When Lennie was no where to be found, George knew where to find him. George knew that Curly's wife was bad news, but no one was going to understand Lennie like George was. What George did to Lennie is questionable, it is up to the reader to judge if George's actions were out of friendship or evil.
Do you know what it is to be a good friend to another human being? I think none of us can explain it in words. It is the things that we do, our actions, that display how we feel on the inside. John Steinbeck does an excellent job at showing the many aspects of true loyalty and friendship. By reading this book, I have heightened my awareness to people around me and the social aspect of my life. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to, or is willing to learn a little about themselves.