To what extent has Steinbeck content shaped his exploration of individual and collective freedom.
Freedom is a collective journey rather than just an individual one. Steinbeck has shown this concept through the characters George and Lennie. He demonstrates how when there is friendship, it will last a lifetime regardless of time. This leads on to of how burden of freedom becomes less heavier when you have someone to help you carry it which can also include making sacrifices for one another.
Friendship is a bond that lasts a lifetime regardless of how inferior or old it has become. In the quote “The old man squirmed uncomfortably Well-hell! I had him so long. Had him since he was a pup. I herded sheep with him.You wouldn't think it to look at him now, but he was the best damn sheep dog I ever”, there is a comparison between the old dog and Lennie. Even though Lennie is mentally challenged. Even though the dog is old and is unable to carry out his tasks, the old man still treats it like its best friend. This is the same situation with George and Lennie even though Lennie is mentally challenged and is inferior in front of George; it doesn’t affect George because of their deep intimate relationship.
The burden of freedom is much lighter when there is another shoulder to lean on. In the case of George and Lennie, it was mainly Lennie who helped George get a job due to his masculinity and George is the one who took care of Lennie. In the quote “but he’s sure of a good worker. Strong as a bull” there is the use of simile to show the importance of Lennie. George is the head and Lennie is the arms and both of them operate like a body and carry each other that way. Burden is the weight on your shoulders which is meant to be carried by another person.
The path of freedom sometimes needs sacrifices