How does Steinbeck convey Lennie's animal like qualities?
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Lennie's size and relative lack of mental intelligence make him seem more animal like. His innocent connection to animals that are soft is contrasted with his killing of them when he squeezes them too hard.
Both men, particularly Lennie, are described in animal similes: Lennie drags his feet “the way a bear drags his paws” (2) and drinks from the pool “like a horse” (3). Lennie even fantasizes about living in a cave like a bear.