Explore the ways in which John Steinbeck presents he character of Lennie in ‘Of Mice and Men’
In this essay I am going to be writing about one of the main characters in John Steinbeck’s novella ‘Of Mice and Men’. The story portrays the travels and arising problems of two migrant workers who share an uncommon friendship for the time and environment in which the novella is set. Lennie Small is the character I will be exploring and I will start off by giving a detailed explanation of his physical appearance and behaviour. Second I will look at his and the other main character George’s relationship which will then be followed by Lennie’s relationships with other characters throughout the book. I will then go on to look at the foreshadowing
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Slim appreciates that Lennie is not a cruel person when he says ‘He ain’t mean, I can see Lennie ain’t a bit mean’ which further emphasises the intelligence Slim possess to see behind the original interpretation of Lennie as a man and shows how his feelings towards him have developed into somewhat respect. Another relationship that Lennie has is one with the stable buck, Crooks. Steinbeck enforces this unspoken friendship between the two because both are isolated from the rest of the ranch workers, Lennie because of his size and childish behaviour and Crooks because of him being black and being segregated from the rest of the workers. Although Lennie is portrayed as the weakest mentally, he doesn’t understand the unwritten code of racial segregation which brings out the intelligent side to him which is proven in the way he acts towards Crooks. When Crooks questions him about why he has entered the barn Lennie replies with ‘Nothing- I seen your light. I thought I could jus’ come an’ set’ which shows how innocent Lennie is and in a way how lonely he is as he goes to investigate the possibility that he could converse with someone. It could also show that Lennie sees crooks as an equal unlike the other men on the ranch who merely see his colour.
In this novella Steinbeck uses foreshadowing a great deal throughout the whole story. It appears everywhere, hinting on what will happen to different characters and the way the story will develop. It is