Mental Illness In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Of Mice and Men: Lennie’s Mental Illness The novel, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, is a story about two men and their companionship. The story takes place in California during the Great Depression. The two men have a dream to one day own a farm of their own. This dream never comes true and they are forced to work for someone else on a ranch for the rest of their lives. On of the main characters, Lennie, is retarded and often gets him and George into trouble. In the story, the author gives many clues that allude to the fact that Lennie has a mental illness. Throughout the story, he says and does things that shows the reader of this. The ways Lennie is shown as retarded is through his childish manner, his memory loss, his incapability to control his strength, and his cowardness. The first example of how the author shows he is retarded without directly saying it is through his childish manner. In the book he often speaks and acts like a kid. In one scene, he tries to convince George he doesn’t have anything in his pocket like a child would. George very clearly knows that Lennie is lying to him. When George takes the dead mouse from Lennie, he reacts by crying like a kid. This scene plays out with George saying “ “Blubberin’ like a baby! Jesus Christ! A big guy like you.” Lennie’s lip quivered and tears started in his eyes.” (9). In another scene, he tries to take the pup that Slim gave him into the bunkhouse. George tells him to bring the pup back and Lennie says “What
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