People have differences it’s just a fact. You often see people become friends because they are very similar people but, other times when friends are different from each other they can complement each other. In the novel, Of Mice and Men two men, Lennie and George, are trying to find work after getting kicked out of their old town, Weed.
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They keep each other company. Lennie is attached to George and has an unquestionable dedication to him. John Steinbecks work, Of Mice and Men, demonstrates George being rude to Lennie, while Lennie is kind to George and a better friend to George than George is to Lennie. Lennie is selfless. When Lennie tells George he would like ketchup on his beans, George gets upset.
Lennie in response saysI was only foolin’, George. I don’t want no ketchup. I wouldn’t eat no ketchup if it was right here beside me.’…But I wouldn’t eat none, George. I’d leave it all for you. You could cover your beans with it and I wouldn’t touch none of it’ (Steinbeck 13). Although Lennie doesn’t have ketchup, Lennie would be willing to give all of it to George if they had it and wouldn’t take any of it even though he would want it. He is willing to give what he wants to George and puts his friend before himself. Lennie’s remains steadfast in his loyalty even when George dishes out hurtful treatment on Lennie.
On one occasion, while George is telling Slim about how naive Lennie is, George says Why he’d [George] do any damn thing I tol’ him. If I tol’ him to walk over a cliff, over he’d go. That wasn’t so damn much fun after a while. He never got mad about it, neither. I’ve beat the hell outa him, and coulda bust evry bone in my body jus’ with his han’s, but he never lifted a finger against me.'(Steinbeck 44). This quote just goes on to demonstrate that George continues to be mean to Lennie. In conclusion, Lennie is a good friend to George even when George isn’t being a good friend. Lennie is kind and cares deeply for George. George on the other hand takes Lennie for granted and shows inner resentment toward him. George believes that Lennie is a burden to him. In the book, we can see that George’s behavior towards Lennie is borderline cruel. The words that come out of George’s mouth are hurtful and demeaning. But, if you look at it from George’s perspective we can see some possibilities about why he gets upset.
Maybe it’s because George has to take care of a person who is functional but has a limited mental capability. And George sees Lennie as a responsibility that he can’t run away from but isn’t able to complete his responsibility either. This dilemma could be the source of his frustration which is expressed in a way that is very demeaning, to say the least. George often reminds Lennie that his life is harder with Lennie.Whatever we ain’t got, that’s what you want. God a’mighty, if I was alone I could live so easy. I could go get a job an’ work an’ no trouble. No mess at all, and when the end of the month come I could take ny fifty bucks and go into town and get whatever I want.’… pool.(Steinbeck 11-12).
George is always telling Lennie that he would like it much better if he didn’t have Lennie. This matters because George is telling Lennie that he doesn’t want him and would rather be without him. Imagine how this would impact Lennie’s self-esteem. Lennie stared hopelessly at his hands I forgot, George.’ Yeah, you forgot. You always forget, an’ I got to talk you out of it. … If I was a relative of yours I’d shoot myself.’ (Steinbeck 26).
George goes as far as saying he would shoot himself if he were Lennie’s relative. This pattern of behavior keeps happening. In this instance, George is demonstrating to Lennie that he isn’t worth much. To give George a benefit of doubt, one might say that George doesn’t mean to say what he says, but it’s clear that he says unpleasant things to Lennie which probably undermines Lennie’s self-esteem. You may see that Lennie is much kinder to George and he is a genuine true friend throughout the book. Yet, there is more to it. I think there are complex parts in this relationship with George looking at Lennie as a rock and a burden that he needs to carry with him.
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