There’s more than one friendship in Of Mice & Men

The book Of Mice and Men shows true friendship.  The relationship between George and Lennie is very strong.  This relationship can be somewhat tenuous at times, but almost always turns out to be alright.  In this book, Lennie seems to always consult with George about what his next move in life should be.  I don’t mean this literally, but this just proves the fact that Lennie needs George and this relationship between them.

When Lennie says things like “I was only foolin’ George.  I don’t want no ketchup.  I wouldn’t eat no ketchup if it was right here beside me.” (12) or “George you want I should go leave you alone?” (12) it’s pretty obvious that Lennie is either playing the sympathy card with George or actually cares about him so much as to leave George just so George’s life could be better.  George seems to like Lennie a lot as well and has seemingly grown attached to him.  It’s clear when George says “I was jus’ foolin’, Lennie.  ‘Cause I want you to stay with me.” (13)

However, this book contains more to friendship than just George and Lennie’s.  When they arrive at the ranch, they eventually make friends with such people as Crooks and Candy.  Both being simple people who help around the ranch.  They even get to be somewhat of good acquaintances with another character that goes by the name Slim.

Candy gets very defensive when talking to Curly’s wife.  During a conversation Candy mentions how George, Lennie, Crooks, Slim, and himself, all don’t need that ranch because they plan on getting their own ranch sometime in the near future.  Of course she just laughs at the idea, but the care that Candy shows resembles his friendship with the others.

When Lennie breaks Curley’s hand and his wife wants to know what happened, Crooks and Candy are quick to think of a different story to put the blame on.  They tell her “he got his han’ stuck in a machine ma’am.” (78)  She tells them that story is absurd and surely knows what happened and who did it.  The bond these guys share is shown once again during this time.

Possibly the final act of friendship in the story, if you think about it, is George ending Lennie’s life himself rather than letting Curley get to him first.  George even begged for jail time, but it was no use to convince the stubbornness of Curley.  George’s hand shakes before he shoots Lennie in the back of the head, which is an obvious sign he didn’t want to do this.  After he steadies, he pulls the trigger and does what he probably hoped he’d never have to do.

Even though the friendship was cutoff by one of the friends, that doesn’t make their friendship any less then what it was.  No one can tell if it was for the better, but it probably was.  George and Lennie shared a strong bond and it was too bad that it had to come to such a violent end.

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