Lennie Smalls Dream Or Nightmare?

Better Essays
Henry Smith
English 12
February 2, 2018
Lennie Smalls’ Dream: Dream or Nightmare?
In John Steinbeck's classic novella, Of Mice and Men, two men of contrasting characteristics set out on their quest for the American Dream. George is a man of average knowledge while Lennie is a man with the mind of a child. George has accepted the role of being the “guardian” of Lennie. Steinbeck develops an archetypal society in order to reveal that the ones who are like Lennie will endure discrimination from those who are in power. Steinbeck’s use of dehumanization in order to establish the character of Lennie reveals that the mentally and or physically impaired will never have the opportunity of achieving the American Dream. Steinbeck also reveals
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He is utterly dependent on George. Crooks continued to ask Lennie what he would do in life if George did not return from town than night. Lennie responded, “He won’t do it, ‘Lennie cried. George wouldn’t do nothing like that. I been with George a long time. He’ll come back tonight--Don’t you think he will?’” (71). Lennie cannot imagine what he would do if George were not a part of his life. This incident reveals how much Lennie relies on George. This dependency and immaturity are revealed when Steinbeck says “Lennie cried”. Most men would never weep over something so little. His mental disabilities are brought into light by the effortless way that Crooks toys with Lennie. To think that Crooks, a black man full of physical and psychological issues himself, could easily do such a thing reveals how mentally weak Lennie actually is. Lennie becomes uneasy at the thought of never seeing George again because of how much he relies on George. If a man does not have the capability of living on his own how can one expect him to achieve his dream alone? Steinbeck also reveals companionship is necessary for a life of contentment. Lennie would never be content without George and believe it or not George needs Lennie as…show more content…
In the last chapter George knew that Lennie’s life was coming to an end after Lennie had accidently killed Curley’s wife. George would never be able to live with himself if he watched another man kill Lennie just like Candy regretted the fact that he was not the one who had killed his dog. Candy became emotional that he left his dog in the hands of another man in the final minutes of his dog’s life. There was only one thing George could do. “He pulled the trigger. The crash of the shot rolled up the hills and rolled down again. Lennie jarred, and settled slowly forward to the sand, and he lay without quivering” (106). Steinbeck purposely has Lennie killed like this as a tool of dehumanization. Earlier in the novella Candy’s dog was taken out back and was killed the same way as Lennie--shot by the same gun in the back of the head. The irony behind the comparison between Lennie and Candy’s dog is that Lennie is somewhat portrayed to be the pet/possession of George just like the old, foul-smelling dog is the pet of Candy. The reader realizes that George speaks a sometimes tranquil and sometimes demanding voice when talking to Lennie, like an owner talking to his dog. When George says “Good boy! That’s fine Lennie” (15) the reader feels a sense of sympathy towards Lennie because he is treated like a dog. Lennie is somewhat viewed as a young child because of his actions and the
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