Table of Contents
The events of the novel happened in the 1930s on a ranch near the Salinas River in Soledad, California. We encounter a couple of friends: George, a farm laborer, and Lennie, a tall, simple-hearted man. They are constantly looking for a different job because Lennie is the reason for their problems. He accidentally grabbed a woman by her dress because he enjoys soft things, but has no self-control over his strength. On their following job at the ranch, they meet old Candy and his dog, along with Curley, the owner’s son, Slim, the other co-worker who gave Lennie a puppy, and Crooks, who suffers from discrimination because of his skin color. Curley’s wife, an attractive woman, is homesick and flirts with the workers. At one point, Lennie happens to be alone with Curley’s wife and wishes to stroke her hair because he likes soft things like mice’s fur. Curly’s wife gets anxious, and Lennie snaps her neck, shattering it in frustration. At the start of the book, Lennie received some directions from George: if something terrible happens, he goes hide by the River. George discovers Lennie there and eventually slays him to restrain him from licking.
Individuals with low intelligence are mostly despised by society and left alone. Because of this problem, people on the ranch do not communicate with Lennie. For instance, when Crooks simply kidding and saying to him that George might abandon him someday, Lennie gets extremely annoyed. Crooks quits kidding, terrified that Lennie may cause suffering uncontrollably. Furthermore, when Curley batters him, Lennie assumes that he was mocking him, Lennie does not react and his face gets bloodied until George informs him that he has to respond. Therefore, because Lennie was isolated and treated horribly because of his mental health issues, he ended up in a situation in which he slayed Curley’s wife. He is not accountable for his behavior; the dread of being penalized once more is what directed him to kill and ultimately to death at the hands of his sole friend. If Lennie had been treated with more care and taken care of more responsibly, the events leading up to his death would surely have been different.
Friendship is a mental commitment, an engagement between two persons. Three clues confirm that George and Lennie were true friends. Foremost, George’s affection for Lennie is disclosed when he speaks to Slim: “We kinda look after each other… It’s a lot nicer to go around with a guy you know.” “A kid,” George finishes. Following the death of Aunt Clara, he chose to provide care for Lennie, a testament to his devotion. On the other hand, Lennie also wants to sacrifice himself to George, but he cannot achieve that because of his disability. In addition, George may turn away and leave because Lennie keeps hauling him into problems. He randomly kills animals and gets into brawls, but they remain coupled until Lennie’s death. Their companionship has transcended all barriers. Ultimately, the proof of their friendship is affirmed when they decide to develop a future together, which is to possess a farm with plenty of rabbits.
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The plot presents three primary instances of symbolism, which are the embodiment of animals: Mice, Candy’s dog, and rabbits. To begin with, mice are significant to Lennie because they symbolize contentment. Lennie loves soft items and always wants them to be around, as evidenced by the dead mouse he keeps in his back pocket. Mice are a wellspring of calm and satisfaction in an unsettled environment. The other symbol Steinbeck employs is Candy’s dog, which is no longer useful and is supposed to die. It is captured at night and murdered because the ranch men want it dead. The dog of Candy represents the violent and rough world in which people exist. Candy is afraid that when he becomes useless, he, like his dog, will no longer belong on the ranch. Lastly, the rabbits embody Lennie’s expectations and wishes for the future. That is why, at the conclusion of the novel, the rabbits come to him as a delusion, as a coming hopelessness.
Irony is to state the contrary of what we intend to imply. Steinbeck’s novel contains three significant illustrations of this. The former is when Steinbeck provides the name of Lennie Small to the largest figures in the story. The most striking image is when he is incapable of containing himself and shakes Curley’s hand. The secondary and most ironical is when Lennie inadvertently murders Curley’s wife. George cherishes his friend, and he doesn’t wish to see Lennie suffer a horrific death. Lennie innocently believes, like a child, that he and George will conceivably have some land where he can tend to his rabbits. However, George is forced to slaughter him. The ultimate irony is that the Crooks says to Lennie that he doesn’t need the massive man to enter his room, but he is terribly solitary and loves to be around others.