Of Mice and Men

Compare and contrast the characters of George and Lennie. What separates them from other migrant workers? What is their dream?

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George and Lennie are very similar to the other migrant workers, except for one very important thing..... they travel together...... they're a team. Their dream is to have a place of their own, settle down, and work for themselves.


George Milton. A migrant worker who travels from farm to farm with his mentally impaired friend Lennie during the Depression. The two dream of earning enough money to buy a small farm where Lennie can tend rabbits. By virtue of his mental superiority, George assumes a dominant role with Lennie, acting as a parent. Because Lennie tends to involve George in difficult predicaments, George must be responsible, level-headed and ready to deal with any tragedy that may arise. Despite the many problems that Lennie causes George, he stays with his simple-minded friend as a buffet against loneliness and he retains a palpable hope that the two will eventually leave the aimless life of a migrant worker to live a more fulfilling existence.


Lennie Small. A gigantic, mentally disabled man, Lennie is simplistic and docile. He obsesses over simple sensory pleasures, particularly finding great joy in touching soft things, whether a cotton dress or a soft puppy. Although Lennie is inherently innocent, he is still capable of great violence, for he lacks the capacity to control himself physically and has a great protective instinct, especially when it comes to his friend, George. Lennie dreams with George of having a small piece of land; he is obsessed with one aspect of this dream: having a small rabbit hutch where he can tend rabbits. Lennie is incapable of making decisions by himself and relies on George entirely.