Of Mice and Men

why is Lennis important in the novel?

this only includes the context. And may i have different high leveled points to get an a please.

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Lennie Small is 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. Many people consider Lennie a character foil to George. Lennie serves as George's comfort as well as his stress. Lennie is a child that George must look after as well as his only friend and confidant. It is this paradox that Steinbeck constantly challenges us with throughout the novel.



Within the novella, Steinbeck uses Lennie Small as a literal symbol of vulnerability, hardship and prejudice in 1930's America.

Lennie has a physical disability. Due to the frequent referal of Lennie being an animal 'dabbled his paws' and 'like a horse' it denotes the lower status the man has in society; hes an animal. His mental state defines him as a worker however Lennie is more than capable of completing the jobs of two workers. Lennie is not recongnised for his abilities and strength but recongnised as his disability. Steinbeck reveals the prejudice frequently found in America. No human being could be equal within the 1930's due to their appearance, mental state or wealth.

Lennie also reflects the vulnerability of ranch workers. Due to Lennie 'doing a bad thing' in Weed, him and George had to flee to a new ranch. This distinguishes that ranch workers are constantly at risk of being 'canned.' Ranch workers relied on work to guarantee their survival. Due to the lack of financial support within the 1930's if a man did not find work, they were likely to die.

The giant man also encapsulates the outrunning theme of loneliness throughout the novella. Lennie and George travelled from ranch to ranch finding work. The boss firstly asks George 'you takin his pay away from him?' This immediately signifies the unlikelihood of two men travelling together. It also reveals the insecurity of the workers. Every man worked for themselves and avoided friendships with others, in order to prevent conflicts.