The Power of Friendship in Of Mice and Men

The Power of Friendship in Of Mice and Men

In school, we came across the novel “Of Mice and Men” and I really like the novel and how it ended. What stood out to me is the friendship of George and Lennie. I decided to write an essay about it and share my thoughts with you guys. Hope you like it!

The Power of Friendship

written by Kaisey Mahizaki


Did you ever have a dream that you wanted to achieve? Did you find that pursuing your dream was not easy and that it required a lot of work and perseverance to achieve it? What if you shared your dream with someone else? Would that make your pursuit of it easier or harder? During the great depression in the United States, a lot of people lost everything including their jobs, their savings, and even their own homes. Having your own property or land and being able to call it your own was a big deal during that period. In fact, that is the origin of the “American Dream”.

In John Steinbeck’s novel, Of Mice and Men, the two characters, George and Lennie shared the same dream of getting a piece of land and being able to call it their own. More importantly, Lennie dreamed of being able to tend a bunch of soft furry rabbits on that land. Every time George tells Lennie the story of what owning their piece of land would be like, both he and Lennie get even more motivated to achieve their dream. Their bond and friendship get stronger and stronger as they face challenges together.

There is a significant difference between George and Lennie. George is a small guy who bold and intelligent while Lennie is a big guy who is dumb, innocent and childish. These differences didn’t stop them from caring for each other. George has been taking care of Lennie ever since his Aunt Clara died. He knew that Lennie wouldn’t be able to take care of himself. When George got mad at Lennie on the Salinas River about what Lennie did in Weed, Lennie told George that he could leave George alone, go up into the hills and find a cave and live by himself if George asked him to. Even though Lennie can be a burden to George, George never let Lennie go because he cared about him. George is willing to risk his job and his life for Lennie because he understands that Lennie is just like a child trapped in a big guy’s body and nobody understands him like George does. Without guidance and care, Lennie would never be able to survive on his own. Nobody can tame Lennie like George does. Without George, Lennie is like a wild animal that can attack anyone because of his instincts and people will consider him a threat.

Every time someone asks George why he and Lennie stick with each other, he tells them that they travel together. People would always get surprised that both have been together for such a long time because, in that time, nobody trusted anyone. Speaking of trust, Lennie trusts George more than anyone else. When Crooks was asking him what he would do if George didn’t come back to the place where they worked and leave him alone, Lennie trusts George so much that he can confidently say that George would never leave him and he would come back. Lennie is also very loyal and protective of George. When Crooks also gave him a scenario of George getting hurt, Lennie became angry and asked him who hurt George and Lennie looked like he was ready to jump into a fight to avenge George. Even though Lennie is quite forgetful, George is the only person that Lennie follows and listens to. Whether telling Lennie to fight back against Curley or to go hide in the brush when something bad happens, whatever George asks Lennie to do, he will be able to remember and follow it. Lennie is also willing to sacrifice himself for George and even offered George that he’ll go away so that George can work and won’t get in trouble because of him.

The worst challenge that both George and Lennie came across is when Lennie accidentally killed Curley’s wife. Lennie always liked touching soft things and George doesn’t allow him to keep the mice because he would always end up killing them. That’s what happened to the puppy that Slim gave him. He got so upset about his puppy’s death and that’s when Curley’s wife talked to him. She let Lennie touch her soft hair and when Curley’s wife freaked out, Lennie grabbed her to tight and started shaking her because he was scared. When Lennie remembered what George had told him to do if he got into serious trouble, he went away and hid in the brush like George instructed and waited there until George came.

When Old Candy and George found the body of Curley’s wife, George knew right away that it was Lennie, but he also knew that Lennie hadn’t meant to kill her. George tried to find a way to get Lennie out of this trouble but he knew that Curley would want to shoot Lennie and make him suffer until Lennie died. George would never allow that to happen and he wants Lennie to live. George was trying to find a way to save  Lennie before the other men especially Curley found his dead wife. After Curley found his dead wife, he had a justifiable reason now to kill Lennie. When Old Candy told George that he could have shot his own dog rather than let someone else do it for him, George realized that it would be better if he found Lennie before Curley did.

Back at the Salinas River Lennie waited for George to come for him. While waiting he had hallucinations of his Aunt Clara and of a giant rabbit. His hallucinations were very discouraging for him because Aunt Clara blamed Lennie for his actions that always made George suffer. The rabbit also blamed him that for what he did. Now he would never be able to tend the rabbits. These hallucinations disappeared when George came to get Lennie and that shows the comfort George can give to Lennie just through his presence. George continues to comfort Lennie and tells him about their dream while Lennie looks at a distant hill. When George felt that Lennie was very happy to hear their dream, he shot Lennie in the back of the head so that he won’t feel any pain and would die with a happy memory. Even at the very end of Lennie’s life, George made sure that Lennie was able to feel that he was a huge part of George’s life by telling him that they would be together and have their own land and he greatly appreciated to be part of it.

Despite their differences, they always think of each other and most importantly, they protect each other. They didn’t end up chasing their dream together, but what mattered the most was what they did for each other. George might not have been powerful enough to save Lennie’s life, but the power of their friendship was never shaken.