“Of Mice and Men” novel by John Steinbak contains two very different but yet similar main characters. George is an intelligent small, dark man while Lennie is the complete opposite. He is a “giant” of a man and isn’t as intelligent as his companion. He often gets himself and his friend in trouble. They are both hard working migrant workers that came to a stop miles away from a Californian farm where they are due to start work at. Candy’s and the dogs relationship is strong. The best way to describe their bond is “A dog is a man’s best friend”. George and Slim form a friendship that bonds over the fact that they are both a bit lonely.
Lennie and George have a very special friendship. Their friendship is best described as that of a big brother watching out for his little brother. In the beginning of this novel, George and Lennie stopped by a pool to camp overnight. As the night and converse progresses between them, it is clear that Lennie is extremely dependant upon George. George soon realizes that Lennie has a slight mental disability. An example would be when Lennie drinks river water and George knelt beside the pool and drank from his hand with quick scoops. ‘Tastes all right,’ he admitted. ‘Don’t really seem to be running, though. You never oughta drink water when it ain’t running, Lennie,’ (Steinback ) he said hopelessly. He threw water into his face and rubbed it around with his hand, under his chin and around the back of his neck. Then he replaced his hat, pushed himself back from the river, drew up his knees and embraced them. Lennie who had been closely observing him proceeds to do the same. He drew up his knees and embraced them. He looks to George quickly to see if he got the position just right. This is a major example of the bond between them. Another example is when George and Lennie had a small disagreement. “An’ whatta I got,” George went on furiously. “I got you! You can’t keep a job and you lose me ever’ job I get” (Steinback ).This is a great quote to show the parallels between the friendship of George and Lennie and that of two brothers. ‘‘We’ll have a cow,’ said George. ‘An’ we’ll have maybe a pig an’ chickens…an’ down the flat we’ll have a…little piece alfalfa—” (Steinback ). This shows how George cares about Lennie like brother would with each other.
Candy’s dog mirrors the character of Candy. The dog is shot because he is old and Candy is viewed the same. Candy has been with the dog the whole time and as he lies down, he recalls a memory. As Candy lies down on his bed he recalls old memories, ‘Well hell. I had him so long. Had him since he was a pup. Herded sheep with him’ (Steinback ). When Candy’s dog is killed, Candy wishes he had done it himself. He feels guilty about not having shot the dog himself. This shows the affection he had for his true companion. “Maybe it’d hurt him,” Candy suggested. “I don’t mind takin’ care of him.”Carlson said, “The way I’d shoot him, he wouldn’t feel nothing. I’d put the gun right there.” He pointed with his toe. “Right back of the head. He wouldn’t even quiver.” (Steinback ) This shows how Candy wants his dog to go out without any pain and he is extremely worried it would hurt. Another quote of this amazing friendship is “Yeah. I had ‘im ever since he was a pup. God, he was a good sheepdog when he was younger.” He reached over and patted the ancient dog, and he apologized, “I been around him so much I never notice how he stinks.” The old man squirmed uncomfortably. “Well—hell! I had him so long. Had him since he was a pup. I herded sheep with him.” He said proudly, “You wouldn’t think it to look at him now, but he was the best damn sheep dog I ever seen.”(Steinback )This quote shows how much Candy appreciates his dog even now when he is old and smells and is of no use to him on the farm.
George is intelligent and he sees that Slim can help both him and his “brother”. He sees Slim as opportunity to confide and to confess in. In this particular quote “Come on George. Me an you’ll goin and get a drink.” (Steinback 107) This shows how they are friends because friends get drinks together. It also shows how Geoge wants to talk to Slim over drinks. Slim want to hear about Georges life because he sees that he’s dealing with a lot and needs to confide in someone. “Sat back quiet and receptive” (Steinback ). This quote shows that Slim wanted to listen then upon hearing this he said “He ain’t mean, I can tell a mean guy from a mile off” (Steinback ). He is a real friend because he also gave him his own opinion when it matters the most.
All these friendships are what make a great novel. Everyone has some sort of relationship that helps them become a better person whether it is a brother like relationship or a relationship with a dog.
- Steinbeck, J. (1994). Of mice and men. New York, N.Y., U.S.A: Penguin Books.