Of Mice And Men Character Analysis

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Of Mice and Men is a novella by John Steinbeck, published in 1937. It is set in the Salinas Valley in California during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Two migrant workers, George Milton and Lennie Small, have a work contract at a local ranch so that they one day might purchase a property of their own; however, due to Lennie’s childlike mental state the goal seems far-fetched. In his poem, ‘To a Mouse’, which is also the source of the novella’s title, Robert Burns wrote, “The best laid schemes of mice and men / Go often askew,” which one can compare to George’s goals of achieving the elusive American Dream together with Lennie, but as the poem also suggests this will go askew, and this is Lennie’s fault. Therefore, why does George not get rid of Lennie, when Lennie even offers to “(…) go off in the hills an’ find a cave.” (OMM, 14), and pursue the dream himself? Is George too compassionate of a person to leave Lennie, or is George simply using him for his own satisfaction? The following paper will discuss these questions by characterizing George and looking into his relationship with Lennie.
There is often a hidden meaning behind the names of characters in novels; George’s name is no different. On the simple level, according to Dictionary.com, the name George derived from the Greek word, ‘Geōrgios’, meaning “farmer”, which is precisely what he is and what he does for a living. However, it may also have a link with the theme of fate in the novella. As mentioned above in
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