Of Mice and Men



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Lennie is essentially a child in the body of a large man. He has all the innocence, wonder and naïveté of a child yet is expected to be an adult by the people that encounter him. To make matters worse he forgets the boundaries imposed on him, mostly by George, and gets into trouble. In the end the things he does really aren't his fault. Like many people like Lennie, he has little impulse control. This can be seen in his repeated encounters with women. Lennie, however, is fiercely loyal to his friend George. He holds an unconditional love for him. In a perfect world Lennie would befriend everyone. Unfortunately this depression era time along with general ignorance about mental challenges made it tough for Lenny.

You sympathize with Lennie the most in the novel due to his child like state of mind and he is still a large and strong man. The reason people feel sympathy for this is because of the trouble he gets into for this characteristic of his and how it causes trouble for the other characters but is not Lennie's fault. For example when Lennie kills Curley's wife and runs away to the brush the reader feels sorry for him because they forget what he as done and the affect it will have on other characters because the consequences, in Lennie's case, are not needed.


Westleigh Highschool

I think Lennie deserves sympathy due to his quite childish and humorous personality. Steinbeck cleverly uses reporting verbs to describe Lennie a 'bleating with terror' , this reporting verb conveys an inncoent and sympathetic feel for Lennie as a lamb is seen as innocent and bleats when scared or in terror. This also makes us angry at Curley for picking a fight with Lennie, when Lennie clearly can't and won't stand up for himself. In doing this, Steinbeck makes us feel sympathetic to a man who 'looks helplessly'. Lennie due to his childish state of mind still has his strong and large body features. This causes trouble for others however its not Lennies fault as we quickly learn about his mental problems.

I also think Steinbeck makes us feel sorry for Lennie by letting the other characters take advantage of him. For example when Lennie meets Crooks' for the first time Lennie is tormented and bullied by him. Crooks' makes Lennie feel as if George will never come back. We know this when Crooks says ' "I said s'pose George went into town tonight and you never heard of him no more." Crooks pressed forward some kind of private victory. "Just s'pose that," he repeated.' This shows us Lennie has now power, but it also makes us feel angry towards Crooks' for protraying this manner towards Lennie. Lennie is scared but does try to convince him George will come back shouting at Crooks.