The complex relationship between George Milton and Lennie Small

Categories: George Milton

Using the book “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, I shall illustrate how Steinbeck checks out the complex relationship between George Milton and Lennie Small. Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” handle the predicament of migrant labourers in California throughout the Great Anxiety, with the concentrate on 2 random migrant workers, George and Lennie.

Lennie has been described by John Steinbeck as a very basic character who indulges innocence of a little young boy without him understanding it. Lennie is impetuous, compulsive and instinctive, for example when he consumes the scummy pond water without even thinking.

He can not manage his own body motions since he is a half-wit, his physical strength can not be measured or managed by him. He is not what he seems to be, in other words we can say that his body does not match his character. In contrast to George, Lennie is huge, heavy, strong and not intelligent, “Behind him walked his opposite, a substantial male, shapeless of face, with big, pale eyes”.

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He is explained as any other normal individual operating in the farm. Sometimes he does not tend to eliminate animals that he takes care of since he thinks that he is cuddling it. An ideal example is when he is petting the pup and he inadvertently kills it. He hides it and informs George that his intention was to look after it. This informs us that he enjoys animals and he himself does not know just how much damage he is doing to the animal due to the fact that he does not understand how strong he is.

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He often imitates a kid since usually a little kid offers regard to an elder person who acts appropriately with him and treats him in a nice method.

I think George is a very lonely, because although he has a constant companion and friend in Lennie he is of a much higher intelligence level and really needs someone who understands him. I think this because everything is different between him and Lennie even their physicality, when John Steinbeck first describes them he says, “The first man was small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp, strong features. Every part of him was defined: small, strong hands, slender arms and a thin and bony nose. Behind him walked his opposite, a huge man, shapeless of face, with large, pale eyes, with wide, sloping shoulders; and he walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws.” I think John Steinbeck uses the complete difference in physicality to show their complete difference in character.

Right from the beginning of the book we can see that George is the leader of the pair. In fact he is physically leading Lennie down the path at the beginning of the novel. He does care for Lennie; he is concerned about him and tries to stop him doing things that are bad for him, like drinking the scummy pond water before checking it.

He is also quite aggressive to Lennie, to keep him in check. When George discovers that Lennie has a dead mouse he throws it across the pond and is quite harsh which makes Lennie cry, “You know god-damn well what. I want that mouse.” He immediately regrets it though, when he sees the look of anguish on Lennie’ face and consoles him slightly. He is acting like a parent; he feels a sense of responsibility for him. Lennie is like a small child and infatuated by small things such as mice, however he is too clumsy and powerful to be able to look after them without killing them.

Almost everyone in the book has some sort of problem or disability that prevents them from achieving their goals, and in many ways the relationship between George and Lennie is a problem for them both and others too. If the relationship breaks (which is inevitable) then George would be left with no dream, more visits to the whorehouses and most of all loneliness. Others like Candy will also suffer a shattered dream. George and Lennie desperately cling to the notion that they are different from other workers who drift from ranch to ranch because, unlike the others, they have a future and each other. But characters like Crooks and Curley’s wife serve as reminders that George and Lennie are no different from anyone who wants something of his or her own.

I think by killing Lennie, George eliminates a huge burden and a threat to his own life (Lennie, of course, never threatened George directly, but his actions endangered the life of George, who took responsibility for him). The tragedy is that George, in effect, is forced to shoot both his companion, who made him different from the other lonely workers, as well as his own dream and admit that it has gone hopelessly wrong. His new burden is now hopelessness, loneliness and the life of the homeless ranch worker.

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The complex relationship between George Milton and Lennie Small. (2017, Oct 29). Retrieved from

The complex relationship between George Milton and Lennie Small

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