What Is the Story Behind Why Lennie and George Travel Together?
John Steinbeck’s novel, “Of Mice and Men,” revolves around the unlikely friendship between two characters, Lennie Small and George Milton. They travel together during the Great Depression, seeking employment and dreaming of owning their own piece of land. The story behind why Lennie and George travel together is layered with themes of companionship, protection, and shared dreams.
Lennie Small, a large and strong but mentally challenged man, relies on George Milton for guidance and protection. Lennie’s mental limitations make him vulnerable and innocent, often causing him to unintentionally get into trouble. George, on the other hand, is smaller in stature but possesses a sharp mind and quick wit. He acts as Lennie’s guardian and protector, ensuring his safety and preventing him from causing harm to himself and others.
The bond between Lennie and George is rooted in their shared history. They are depicted as childhood friends who have known each other for a long time. This shared past creates a sense of familiarity, trust, and dependency between the two characters. Lennie, in particular, views George as a brother figure and relies on him for emotional support and companionship. George, in turn, feels a sense of responsibility towards Lennie, knowing that he is the only one who can truly understand and care for him.
Another crucial factor that binds Lennie and George together is their shared dream of owning their own piece of land. In a time of economic hardship and uncertainty, this dream serves as a beacon of hope and a source of motivation for the two characters. They envision a place where they can live off the land, free from the constraints of society. This dream provides them with a sense of purpose and serves as a unifying force, driving them to stick together through thick and thin.
Lennie and George’s friendship is also characterized by a sense of loneliness and isolation. The Great Depression has left many people disconnected and desperate for human connection. Lennie and George find solace in each other’s company, creating a sense of belonging and companionship. They share their dreams, fears, and insecurities, providing emotional support and understanding that is lacking in their lives. Their friendship becomes a source of comfort, reminding them that they are not alone in their struggles.
Common Questions and Answers:
1. Why do Lennie and George travel together?
Lennie and George travel together because Lennie relies on George for guidance and protection, while George feels a sense of responsibility towards Lennie.
2. What is the significance of their shared dream?
Their shared dream of owning their own land provides them with hope and motivation during a time of economic hardship. It serves as a unifying force and a sense of purpose for both characters.
3. How does their shared history impact their relationship?
Their shared history creates a sense of familiarity, trust, and dependency between Lennie and George. It strengthens their bond and contributes to their mutual understanding of each other.
4. Why does Lennie view George as a brother figure?
Lennie views George as a brother figure because of their long-standing friendship and the emotional support and companionship George provides. George is the only person who truly understands and cares for Lennie.
5. What role does George play in protecting Lennie?
George acts as Lennie’s guardian and protector, ensuring his safety and preventing him from causing harm to himself and others due to his mental limitations.
6. How does their friendship provide a sense of belonging?
Lennie and George find solace in each other’s company, creating a sense of belonging and companionship. Their friendship reminds them that they are not alone in their struggles.
7. How does their friendship contrast with the loneliness of the Great Depression?
During the Great Depression, many people felt lonely and disconnected. Lennie and George’s friendship provides them with emotional support and understanding, countering the pervasive loneliness of the time.
8. Why is Lennie mentally challenged?
Lennie is depicted as mentally challenged to highlight his vulnerability and innocence. His mental limitations contribute to the need for George’s guidance and protection.
9. What motivates Lennie and George to stick together?
Their shared dream of owning their own land is a powerful motivator that drives Lennie and George to stick together through thick and thin.
10. How does George’s sharp mind complement Lennie’s strength?
George’s sharp mind complements Lennie’s physical strength, allowing them to navigate and survive in a world that is often harsh and unforgiving.
11. Do Lennie and George face any conflicts?
Lennie and George do face conflicts throughout the story. These conflicts arise from Lennie’s unintentional actions and the challenges they encounter in their search for employment and stability.
12. How does their friendship evolve throughout the novel?
Their friendship evolves as they face various obstacles and conflicts. Despite the hardships, their bond grows stronger, and their reliance on each other becomes more evident.
13. What is the overall message conveyed through their friendship?
The overall message conveyed through Lennie and George’s friendship is the importance of companionship, protection, and shared dreams. It emphasizes the human need for connection and support in times of hardship.