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What things does Lennie do and say that make him seem like a child?

 

stefanie m #193645
Jul 27, 2011 4:48 PM

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What things does Lennie do and say that make him seem like a child?

Reading Guide (Chapters 1-2)

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Aslan
Jul 27, 2011 5:15 PM

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Lennie is very childlike. He likes to pet soft things. This gets him into trouble, especially with women. Lennie and George are initially on the run because once he started petting a girl's hair, he could not stop. Being a large man, this becomes problematic to say the least. Lennie's view of the world, like children, is very much in the present. He has trouble learning from past experiences and completely looks to George for guidance. Like a child he does things he is not supposed to (like petting a dead mouse) and cries when it is taken away from him. Like George Lennie is excited about a farm of their own but not for entirely the same reasons. Lennie just wants to pet the soft rabbits; this is enough for him.
 

tracey l #96417
Aug 05, 2011 12:55 AM

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From the first time we see Lennie, we note his childlike behaviour. He is unfazed by the possibility of stangant water and drinks deeply from the pool. He is captivated by the ripples on the pool-

...rings widened across the pool to the other side and came back again. Lennie watched them go. 'Look, George. Look what I done.'

He copies his companion carefully-

'Lennie, who had been watching, imitated George exactly.'

He likes to feel soft things, and hides a mouse in his pocket to touch-

' I could pet it with my thumb while we walked along.'

Lennie has a love for animals and it is his dream to be allowed to -

'tend the rabbits'.

He has little memory, no sense of danger and a desire to please, all of which make him childlike.

Source(s): 'Of Mice and Men' - J Steinbeck

 

angela g #193739
Aug 05, 2011 2:29 AM

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Lennie acts impulsively when drinking from the pool in chapter 1: "drank with long gulps, snorting into the water like a horse". George reminds him that the water needs to be checked first before drinking, but Lennie only knows he is thirsty and does not consider that the water could be contaminated. Lennie also copies George's actions like a child would copy an adult. For example when George "drew up his knees and embraced them", Lennie does the same thing and "looked over to George to see whether he had it just right". Lennie cries like a small child when George throws his dead mouse away: "Lennie's kip quivered and tears started in his eyes". Lennie's childlike nature is also illustrated by the way he begs to be told a story and enjoys hearing about 'the dream' time and time again.
 

lennie s #268003
Sep 15, 2012 12:48 AM

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LOL... Basically, yes. A person's mentality decides how he/she will behave.
 

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