Independent Novel Project
By John Steinback
Lennie is an extremely strong individual who has a slight mental disability. Because of this disability, he completely relies on his best friend George. Lennie loves to pet soft things. But due to his lack of understanding of his own strength, these small things tend to be crushed. Evidence being the rat, the puppy, Curley’s hand, and Curley’s wife. Lennie creates the climax in this novel by breaking Curley’s wife’s neck. Due to his disability, his best friend is forced to kill him.
George is a small man who possess a large intellect and a rather short temper. However, he cares deeply for his friend Lennie and tries to care for him as best as he can. Although he doesn’t always show it, George is always striving for and believing in his and Lennie’s dream to own a farm and be safe from the outside world. George is forced to shoot his best friend to save him from a painful and embarrassing death (lynching).
Two small town laborers , George and Lennie, are found walking to their next job. These two seem to be best friends, both benefitting from the other’s strengths. While the two talk, it appears that Lennie has a slight mental disability and depends on George as a child would depend on a father. They both aspire to one day own and tend their own farm, with rabbits for Lennie.
After camping out in the woods, the two find their worksite the next day. George tells Lennie that he will do all the talking because he is afraid of what the boss might say. As their day continues, they meet Candy and Curley, who both reside at the farm. When the two are alone, Curley’s wife starts to flirt with them, which is very dangerous because Curley is overprotective of his wife. George warns Lennie to stay away from her or else there will be trouble.
After this encounter, they meet Slim who is treated as a higher up due to his experience. After their first day, George lets Slim know that Lennie and him are childhood friends and that Lennie often gets into trouble. The reader learns that Lennie was accused of rape at their last job, but he was only trying to touch a woman’s dress. After some conversing, Slim gives Lennie a newborn puppy. After overhearing George and Lennie’s dream to own land and build a farm, Candy offers his entire life savings if he can live with them. After losing an argument, Curly starts a fight with Lennie. Not knowing his own strength, Lennie breaks Curley’s hand.
The American Dream-
Throughout the novel, George and Lennie cling to the dream of one day owning a small farm where they can be self-sufficient and free from harsh labor. When Candy and Crooks hear of this dream, they’re immediately drawn to it. All of these characters want to be self-sufficient and find brotherly companionship. This dream ends when Lennie dies.
Companionship and Friendship-
Candy, Crooks, Carlson, Slim, Curly, and Curly’s wife are all lonely characters. George and Lennie have the only real bond of friendship. Curly’s wife, Candy, and Crooks all talk about how lonely and empty their lives are. Crooks and Candy are drawn to the dream about the farm partially because they wish to create friendship. This dream ends with the farm when Lennie dies. By killing him, George proves that there is no way friendship and companionship can last in their world.
Women are viewed as evil temptresses in this book. Curly’s wife is painted as a taboo tramp, while she is really only reaching out for friendship because she is so lonely. The only other women mentioned in the book are prostitutes, who waste the men’s hard earned money. Women are seen here as corrupting, tricky, and evil. There is also a great deal of racism towards Crooks, the only black man on the farm, who is not allowed to enter the barracks because of his skin color. Both Crooks and Candy are singled out for being cripple.
Weak vs. Strong
Crooks and Candy know that they are disposable because they are cripples. They worry that one day the boss will fire them and they’ll have no place to go. Lennie displays this theme the best. He is unable to control his brute strength, killing mice, his puppy, and eventually Curly’s wife. While he means no harm, his physical strength continually beats his very weak mind. Even Candy’s dog, when he become weak and old, is killed because he is disposable and useless.
George is the first to find him and kills him himself
Style of writing:
Simple, omniscient, and colloquial Ex: George went on. “With us it ain’t like that. We got a future.”