Loyalty Sacrifice Essay

Submitted By hthek1250
Words: 1021
Pages: 5

Through Thick and Thin Loyalty and sacrifice are two of the main themes shown throughout the classic novel of "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck. In this famous work of literature, Steinbeck explores the themes of loyalty and sacrifice. A major example through which these themes are shown is through George, who is constantly sacrificing his dreams and happiness for Lennie's well-being. Loyalty and sacrifice is also depicted through Candy, who has to sacrifice his loyal dog.
Candy, a major representation of loyalty and sacrifice, is an old rancher who has a dog, which is very old. Some of the ranchers who stay with Candy cannot even imagine what keeps Candy from killing the dog who "...stinks like Hell"(35) and is "...all stiff with rheumatism"(44). Since Candy had his old sheepdog ever since it was a puppy, Candy does not want the ranchers shooting his dog to death because Candy's loyalty to the dog keeps Candy from wanting to sacrifice his lifelong partner, the dog. This is portrayed in the quote "Well-hell! I had him so long. Had him since he was a pup"(44). It was not until Slim, the most respected man in the ranch, agrees that putting the dog down would be the best choice that Candy gives in. Even though Candy gives in to put his dog down, he is reluctant to let the ranchers shoot his loyal friend. This is shown in the quote where Candy is talking to George, "I ought to of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn't ought to of let no stranger shoot my dog."(60). Up until this point Candy remained very loyal to his old dog. The only reason that he gave up his old companion, even though, it was mentally painful, was because he knew that this was best for the dog. This sacrifice of Candy's tells us that loyalty may force us to do something we do not want to do.
Readers can also identify numerous relationships which illustrates both loyalty and sacrifice, one of which is the relationship between George and Lennie. George is a substantial example of loyalty and sacrifice because he gives up his life and personal dreams to take care of Lennie. Lennie likes to touch soft things like clothes, hair, and fur which cause conflicts leading to troublesome situations for George to rescue Lennie. This quote from the book justifies how hard it is for George to take care of Lennie " … 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 my fifty bucks and go into town and get whatever I want. Why, I could stay in a cathouse all night. I could eat any place I want, hotel or any place, and order any damn thing I could think of. An' I could do all that every damn month. Get a gallon of whisky, or set in a pool room and play cards or shoot pool… An' whatta I got … I got you! You can't keep a job and you lose me ever' job I get. Jus' keep me shovin' all over the country all the time"(12). The first job that George and Lennie take together goes well for a while until Lennie ruins everything good that is happening to them, Lennie ruins the good that is happening to them when he grabs a pretty dress that a girl is wearing to feel the soft cloth. This scares the girl, so she starts screaming. Soon the whole town is after Lennie; this is the perfect time in which George can start a new life not including Lennie, but because of his loyalty to Lennie, George helps Lennie escape from the town. George helps Lennie to escape because George knows that Lennie needs George to survive in the world and it is this that helps George to make this sacrifice. Another reason why George is a crucial